Wenhua Wang1, Longyi Shao 1, Jie Li1, Lingli Chang1, Daizhou Zhang2, Chenchong Zhang3, Jingkun Jiang3

The State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining and the Department of Resources and Earth Science, China University of Mining and Technology (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences, Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Kumamoto 862-8502, Japan
State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Received: May 24, 2018
Revised: August 8, 2018
Accepted: August 27, 2018
Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2018.05.0187  

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Cite this article:
Wang, W., Shao, L., Li, J., Chang, L., Zhang, D., Zhang, C. and Jiang, J. (2019). Characteristics of Individual Particles Emitted from an Experimental Burning Chamber with Coal from the Lung Cancer Area of Xuanwei, China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 355-363. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2018.05.0187


  • Individual particles from a burning chamber with the coal of Xuanwei were analyzed.
  • Carbonaceous particles were predominated in the ignition and fierce burning stages.
  • Mineral particles were predominated in the char burning stage.
  • Si-and Fe-rich particles from Xuanwei coal burning were higher than other coals.


Pollutants emitted from household coal burning in Xuanwei, China, have been recognized as the reason for the high lung cancer mortality and morbidity rates in the area. To examine the characteristics of particles emitted from coal burning, a coal burning-dilution chamber was designed, and the individual particles emitted from the chamber at different burning stages were collected. The morphologies and elemental compositions of the individual particles were analyzed by high resolution transmission electron microscopy. Four types of particles, namely, organic particles, soot particles, S-rich particles, and mineral particles, were identified. The largest percentage of particles by number in the ignition stage, fierce-burning stage, and char-burning stage was composed of organic particles (66%), soot particles (71%), and mineral particles (73%), respectively. A distinctive characteristic was the remarkable abundance of Si- and Fe-rich particles during the char burning stage, compared with emissions from other types of coal. According to the elemental composition, 49% of the mineral particles were Si-rich, 25% were Ca-rich, 14% were Fe-rich, and 7% were Ti-rich. The Si-rich particles were partly identified as quartz (SiO2), the Ca-rich particles were found to be CaSO4 or CaCO3, the Fe-rich particles were primarily Fe2O3 or Fe3O4, and the Ti-rich particles were mainly TiO2. Notably, SiO2 is a human carcinogen, and Fe-rich particles possess a high reactive potential with DNA-markers.

Keywords: Coal burning; Individual particle analysis; Si-rich particles; Fe-rich particles; Health risk.


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