Special issue articles

Characteristics of particulate-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons emitted from industrial grade biomass boilers

Xiaoyang Yang , Chunmei Geng , Xuesong Sun , Wen Yang , Xinhua Wang , Jianhua Chen


Received June 10, 2015,Revised August 25, 2015, Accepted September 11, 2015, Available online December 17, 2015

Volume 28,2016,Pages 28-34

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are carcinogenic or mutagenic and are important toxic pollutants in the flue gas of boilers. Two industrial grade biomass boilers were selected to investigate the characteristics of particulate-bound PAHs: one biomass boiler retro-fitted from an oil boiler (BB1) and one specially designed (BB2) biomass boiler. One coal-fired boiler was also selected for comparison. By using a dilution tunnel system, particulate samples from boilers were collected and 10 PAH species were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The total emission factors (EFs) of PAHs ranged from 0.0064 to 0.0380 mg/kg, with an average of 0.0225 mg/kg, for the biomass boiler emission samples. The total PAH EFs for the tested coal-fired boiler were 1.8 times lower than the average value of the biomass boilers. The PAH diagnostic ratios for wood pellets and straw pellets were similar. The ratio of indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene/[indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene + benzo(g,h,i)perylene] for the two biomass boilers was lower than those of the reference data for other burning devices, which can probably be used as an indicator to distinguish the emission of biomass boilers from that of industrial coal-fired boilers and residential stoves. The toxic potential of the emission from wood pellet burning was higher than that from straw pellet burning, however both of them were much lower than residential stove exhausts.

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