Xin Du, Jianhui Wu This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Yingze Tian, Yufen Zhang, Baoshuang Liu, Yinchang Feng This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Urban Air Particulate Matter Pollution Prevention and Control, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China

Received: August 28, 2020
Revised: December 11, 2020
Accepted: January 6, 2021

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Du, X., Wu, J., Tian, Y., Zhang, Y., Liu, B., Feng, Y. (2021). Characteristics of Chemical Composition and Particle Size Distribution from Real Coal-fired Circulating Fluidised Bed (CFB) Boiler. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 200539.


  • Size-segregated distributions of particulate matter for Coal-fired CFB Boiler are presented.
  • The particle size distributions of chemical species are affected by pollution control device.
  • Making out characteristics of PM for CFB contribute to the source apportionment researches.
  • The OC/EC ratio for coal-fired CFB is influenced by pollution control device.


The chemical component (element, ion, and carbonaceous aerosols) behaviour in particle size distributions (PSDs) was studied by determining the particulate matter (PM) emitted from the circulating fluidised-bed (CFB) combustion flue gas. Four CFB coal-fired boilers were employed in power plants. The actual particle mass percentages and PSDs were measured using an electrical low-pressure impactor (ELPI). Ion concentrations (SO42–, Cl, NO3, Na+, NH4+, Mg2+, K+ and Ca2+) were determined by ion chromatography (IC), elements (Al, Ca, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Na, Ni, Pb, S, Si, Ti and Zn) were determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-AES), and the carbonaceous content (OC1, OC2, OC3, OC4, EC1, EC2 and EC3) was measured by thermal optical analysis. Significant differences were observed in the four boilers for PSD. Chemical species in particulate matter mainly concentrated in sizes 0.1–2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter. In this work, the mass percentage of Ca, Ca2+, SO42–, NH4+ and OC were significantly high in different particle size regions. The mass concentrations of elements, ions, and carbonaceous aerosols in various sizes displayed trimodal or bimodal distributions; however, the peaks of mass concentrations of chemical species in different particle sizes varied greatly. Furthermore, the size distribution of chemical species was influenced by the pollution control device employed, and the same chemical species showed a marked difference among coal-fired boiler equipped with different pollution control devices. In addition, it was observed that the ratio of OC to EC was related to dust-cleaning method.

Keywords: Coal-fired Circulating Fluidised Bed (CFB), Particulate matter, Particle size distribution, Chemical components

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