Particle-bound organic and elemental carbons for source identification of PM < 0.1 µm from biomass combustion

Surapa Hongtieab , Hisam Samae , Surajit Tekasakul , Perapong Tekasakul , Worradorn Phairuang , Masami Furuuchi


Received November 20, 2020,Revised , Accepted June 12, 2021, Available online July 10, 2021

Volume 34,2022,Pages 385-393

Atmospheric nanoparticles (PM < 0.1 µm) are a major cause of environmental problems and also affect health risk. To control and reduce these problems, sources identification of atmospheric particulates is necessary. Combustion of bituminous coal and biomass including rubber wood, palm kernel, palm fiber, rice stubble, rice straw, maize residue, sugarcane leaves and sugarcane bagasse, which are considered as sources of air quality problems in many countries, was performed. Emissions of particle-bound chemical components including organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), water-soluble ions (NH4+, Cl, NO3, SO42−), elements (Ca, K, Mg, Na) and heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb) were investigated. The results revealed that PM < 0.1 µm from all samples was dominated by the OC component (>50%) with minor contribution from EC (3%-12%). The higher fraction of carbonaceous components was found in the particulates with smaller sizes, and lignin content may relate to concentration of pyrolyzed organic carbon (PyOC) resulting in the differences of OC/EC values. PM emitted from burning palm fiber and rice stubble showed high values of OC/EC and also high PyOC. Non-carbonaceous components such as Cl, Cr, Ca, Cd, Ni, Na and Mg may be useful as source indicators, but they did not show any correlation with the size of PM.

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