Ten-year emission characteristics of atmospheric pollutants from incineration of sacrificial offerings in China

Yifeng Xue , Yangyang Cui , Gen Zhang , Wei Wang , Yan Shen , Xiaoman Zhai , Xuefang Wu , Renfei Li , Bobo Wu , Maofa Ge , Yujing Mu , Jianmin Chen , Min Shao , Zifa Wang


Received June 28, 2021,Revised , Accepted September 11, 2021, Available online February 22, 2022

Volume 34,2022,Pages 391-400

The incineration of sacrificial offerings is a significant widely practiced custom that is also a kind of neglected air pollution source in China. Our results showed that the emission factors of particulate matter, SO2, CO, NOx, and VOCs emitted from the incineration of sacrificial offerings with purification systems were reduced by 95%, 19%, 9%, 82%, and 42%, respectively, compared with those without a purification system, revealing a significant effect of the flue gas purification system on reducing particulate matter and gaseous pollutants. The emission level of air pollutants from the incineration of sacrificial offerings remained stable before 2013 and then showed a remarkable decrease after the implementation of China´s Air Pollution Prevention Action Plan in 2013. The emissions of TSP (total suspended particulate), PM10, PM2.5, and NOx in 2009 were 8222, 6106, 5656 and 15,878 ton, respectively, obviously higher than 3434, 2551, 2305 and 8579 ton in 2019. Such trend was affected by both the quantity of incineration and the installation rate of purification systems after the Emission Standard of Air Pollutants for Crematory (GB 13801-2015) issued in China. Distinct spatial distribution of atmospheric pollutants from incineration of sacrificial offerings was found with higher in the east and south of China than the west and north of China, which is proportional to the regional economy and population. The maximum ground-level concentration typically occurred at 0.12-0.2 km from the pollution source, posing potential health risks to people entering and exiting funeral and burial sites and nearby residents.

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