Yen-Yi Lee1,2,3, Yen-Kung Hsieh4,5, Bo-Wun Huang6, Justus Kavita Mutuku This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,2,7, Guo-Ping Chang-Chien This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,2,7, Shiwei Huang1,2,7

1 Institute of Environmental Toxin and Emerging-Contaminant, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 833301, Taiwan
2 Super Micro Mass Research and Technology Center, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 833301, Taiwan
3 Department of Food and Beverage Management, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 833301, Taiwan
4 Department of Environmental Science and Occupational Safety and Hygiene Graduate School of Environmental Management, Tajen University, Pingtung 90703, Taiwan
5 National Academy of Marine Research, Kaohsiung 806614, Taiwan
6 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 833301, Taiwan
7 Center for Environmental Toxin and Emerging-Contaminant Research, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 833301, Taiwan

Received: April 4, 2022
Revised: June 12, 2022
Accepted: June 16, 2022

 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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Lee, Y.Y., Hsieh Y.K., Huang, B.W., Mutuku, J.K., Chang-Chien, G.P., Huang, S. (2022). An Overview: PAH and Nitro-PAH Emission from the Stationary Sources and their Transformations in the Atmosphere. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 22, 220164.


  • The existing knowledge on nitro-PAH emissions is still rudimentary.
  • High moisture and low calorific value in waste increase PAH & nitro-PAH emissions
  • In all matrices, nitro-PAHs have considerably lower concentrations than PAHs.
  • Suitable combustion conditions & the use of APCDs reduce PAH & nitro-PAH emissions.
  • Congeners such as 2-NFLTand 1-NPYR PAHs indicate emission sources.


The scientific society is progressively aware of the adverse health effects caused by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nitrated PAHs (nitro-PAHs) from stationary sources, especially waste incinerators. They are mutagenic, persistent in the environment, and cause diseases and mortality worldwide. Nitro-PAHs have a higher carcinogenic potential than their parent PAHs; however, the scientific community's understanding of their properties and quantities in different matrices is still rudimentary. This is due to their infinitesimally lower concentrations in the ambient air and other environments compared to their parent PAHs. Herein, the limitations of most pretreatment and detection methods to quantify them are highlighted. The evolution of the state-of-the-art pretreatment and quantification techniques applied to evaluate PAHs and nitro-PAH concentrations accurately are discussed. This review highlights typical concentrations of PAH and nitro-PAH emitted from stationary sources especially waste incinerators. Formation processes, gas-particle partitioning, and indicative congeners are mentioned. The role of APCDS in controlling PAHs and nitro-PAHs and their fate in the environment are highlighted. Finally, challenges and an outlook on the research field are provided. The improved knowledge developed herein helps to understand the potential mutagenicity threat posed by PAHs and nitro-PAHs in the ambient air and other environments.

Keywords: PAHs, Nitro-PAHs, Stationary sources, Flue gas treatment residues, Atmospheric transformations, Pretreatments

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