Intermediate Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Residential Solid Fuel Combustion Based on Field Measurements in Rural China

Zhe Qian, Yingjun Chen, Zeyu Liu, Yong Han, Yishun Zhang, Yanli Feng, Yu Shang, Hai Guo, Qing Li, Guofeng Shen, Jianmin Chen, Shu Tao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Residential solid fuel combustion (RSFC) is a key cause of air pollution in China. In these serial studies, field measurements of RSFC from 166 rural households in eastern China were conducted to update the database of emission factors (EFs) and chemical profiles of gaseous and particulate organic pollutants, and the present study focuses on the intermediate volatile organic compounds (IVOCs), which are precursors of secondary organic aerosol (SOA). The results show that the averaged EFs of IVOCs (EFIVOC) for crop straw, fuelwood, and coal are 550.7 ± 397.9, 416.1 ± 249.5, and 361.9 ± 308.0 mg/kg, respectively, which are among the EFIVOC of gasoline vehicle, diesel vehicle, non-road machinery, and heavy fuel oil vessel, and are significantly affected by fuel, stove, and combustion efficiency. The percentages of normal alkanes (n-alkanes), branched alkanes (b-alkanes), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and unresolved complex mixture from RSFC are 3.5 ± 1.6, 8.0 ± 3.7, 17.6 ± 6.7, and 70.9 ± 8.1%, respectively, and the compositions are featured by lower b-alkanes and higher PAHs than those of vehicle sources. The proportions of some individual n-alkanes and PAHs (such as n-C12-n-C15, naphthalene, and its alkyl substituents) can be used as indicators to differentiate RSFC from vehicle sources, while methoxyphenols can be used to distinguish biomass burning from coal combustion. Based on China's energy statistics, the total IVOC emissions from RSFC in 2014 were 175.9 Gg. These data will help to update the IVOC emission inventory and improve the estimates of SOA production in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5689-5700
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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