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Optically Measured Black and Particulate Brown Carbon Emission Factors from Real-World Residential Combustion Predominantly Affected by Fuel Differences

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-12-08, 22:13 authored by Lu Zhang, Zhihan Luo, Yaojie Li, Yuanchen Chen, Wei Du, Gang Li, Hefa Cheng, Guofeng Shen, Shu Tao
Residential solid fuel use is an important source of black carbon (BC) but also a main source of uncertainty in BC emission inventories, as reliable real-world emission factors (EFs) and data on consumption of noncommercial household fuels are limited. In this study, particulate BC and brown carbon (BrC) for real-world indoor coal and biomass burning were evaluated using a SootScan model OT21 optical transmissometer from a field campaign including 343 biomass/coal combustion events. The highest BC EF from the burning of coal cake (a mixed fuel locally made from coal and clay) was 1.6–6.4 higher than that of other fuels, and BC EFs were higher for coal combustion than for biomass burning. The highest particulate BrC EF was from charcoal burning and was 1.5–4.3 times higher than that from other biomass and coals. Burning fuel in iron stoves had lower BC and BrC EFs, at approximately 15–66% and 40–54%, respectively, compared with burning in other stove types. The difference between heating and cooking activities was statistically insignificant (p > 0.05). A generalized linear model coupled with dominance analysis evidenced that the EFs were significantly associated with fuel and stove types, with the fuel difference being a major influencing factor explaining 68% of the variation. This suggests that a clean fuel transition would have beneficial impacts on air pollution associated with the residential sector in China. The absorption EFs differed by 2–3 orders of magnitude across different fuel–stove combinations. The Absorption Ångström Exponent values for the particulate from residential solid fuel combustions ranged from 0.92 to 3.7.