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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-594
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-594
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  22 Jun 2020

22 Jun 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Chemical composition, structures, and light absorption of N-containing aromatic compounds emitted from burning wood and charcoal in household cookstoves

Mingjie Xie1, Zhenzhen Zhao1, Amara L. Holder2, Michael D. Hays2, Xie Chen2, Guofeng Shen3, James J. Jetter2, and Qin'geng Wang4 Mingjie Xie et al.
  • 1Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, 219 Ningliu Road, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 2Center for Environmental Measurement and Modeling, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
  • 3Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China

Abstract. N-containing aromatic compounds (NACs) are an important group of light-absorbing molecules in the atmosphere. They are often observed in combustion emissions, but their chemical formulas and structural characteristics remain uncertain. In this study, red oak wood and charcoal fuels were burned in cookstoves using the standard water boiling test (WBT) procedure. Submicron aerosol particles in the cookstove emissions were collected using quartz (Qf) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filter membranes positioned in parallel. A back-up quartz filter (Qb) was also installed downstream of the PTFE filter to evaluate the effect of sampling artifact on NACs measurements. Liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) techniques identified seventeen NAC chemical formulas in the cookstove emissions. The average concentrations of total NACs in Qb samples (0.37 ± 0.31–1.78 ± 0.78 µg m−3) were greater than 50 % of those observed in the Qf samples (0.47 ± 0.40–3.54 ± 1.63 µg m−3), and the Qb to Qf mass ratios of individual NACs had a range of 0.02–2.71, indicating that the identified NACs might have substantial fractions remaining in the gas-phase. In comparison to other sources, cookstove emissions from red oak or charcoal fuels did not exhibit unique NAC structural features, but had distinct NACs composition. However, before identifying NACs sources by combining their structural and compositional information, the gas-particle partitioning behaviors of NACs should be further investigated. The average contributions of total NACs to the light absorption of organic matter at λ = 365 nm (1.10–2.58 %) in Qf samples are much lower than those in Qb samples (10.7–21.0 %). These results suggest that more research is needed to understand the chemical and optical properties of gaseous chromophores and heavier molecular weight (e.g., MW > 500 Da) entities in particulate matter.

Mingjie Xie et al.

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Short summary
This study investigated the composition, structures, and light absorption of N-containing aromatic compounds (NACs) in PM2.5 emitted from burning red oak and charcoal in a variety of cookstoves. The results suggest that the identified NACs might have substantial fractions remaining in the gas-phase. In comparison to other sources, cookstove emissions from red oak or charcoal fuels did not exhibit unique NAC structural features, but had distinct NACs composition.
This study investigated the composition, structures, and light absorption of N-containing...
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