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PAH Profiles of Emitted Ashes from Indoor Biomass Burning across the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region and Implications on Source Identification

Category: Air Toxics

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DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.12.0588
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Zhiyong Li 1, Lin Fan1, Lei Wang2, Huiqiao Ma1, Yao Hu1, Yunjun Jiang2, Caixiu An2, Aiqin Liu2, Jinbao Han3, Hui Jin4

  • 1 School of Environmental Science and Engineering, North China Electric Power University, Baoding, Hebei 071000, China
  • 2 Central Laboratory of Geology and Mineral Resources of Hebei Province, Baoding, Hebei 071003, China, China
  • 3 College of Quality and Technical Supervision, Hebei University, Baoding, Hebei 071002, China
  • 4 M&T Center of EHV Power Transmission Company of CSG, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510663, China


Size distribution of 18 PAHs in ashes from 8 BFs was analyzed.
PAH profiles of differently sized ashes within 5 BFs were similar.
SOR and SES possessed the highest potential toxicity.
PAH diagnostic ratios were significantly different among 8 BFs.
8 BFs were divided into two classes based on indicatory PAHs.


Sixty-four bottom ash (BA) samples from indoor burning of eight bio-fuels (BFs) including cotton (COT), corn (COR), millet (MIL), soybean (SOY), sorghum (SOR) and sesame (SES), firewood walnut (WAL), and corn cob (COC) were collected across the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region. Each BA was divided into five differently sized parts for the analysis of eighteen PAHs using the GC/MS system. The Σ18PAHs values for all the BAs varied from 65.0 ± 10.6 to 1310 ± 129 ng g–1. SOR had the highest PAH level, and COC produced the lowest level. The Σ18PAHs for SOY, WAL, COT, COR, COC, and SES were negatively correlated with the BA sizes. The NA, PHE, ACL, AN, FA, PY, FL, and AC dominated in all the BAs except for SES. All the BAs were dominated by 2, 3-ring PAHs. The PAH profiles for differently sized BAs within MIL, SOR, COC, COR, and SES were similar based on lower coefficient of divergence values, while the other three BFs did not exhibit this trend. All the BF pairs except for SOR vs. SES and COC vs. COR had the different PAH profiles. No series of coincident diagnostic ratios (DRs) could represent all BFs based on their significantly varied DRs. AN/(AN + PHE) and BA/BgP might be used in identification of combustion sources of different types of BFs. SOR and SES had higher potential toxicity risk based on higher TEQ, BaPE, and CPAHs values. BgF and BgP were the indicatory PAHs for SOY, MIL, COR, SOR, and COC, while they were AC and FL for the remaining three BFs.


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon Bottom ash Bio-fuel Diagnostic ratio Indicatory PAHs

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