Special Issue "Real World Air Pollutant Emissions from Combustion Sources"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andrew Grieshop
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, United States
Interests: aerosols; air quality in low income countries; indoor air quality; secondary organic aerosols; aerosol volatility
Dr. Shantanu Jathar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80525, USA
Interests: aerosols; air quality; combustion emissions; photochemical modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Accurate and comprehensive measurements of air pollutants emitted by diverse and variable sources is a critical step in understanding how the multitude of human activities influence our atmosphere. In this Special Issue, we aim to collect contributions from researchers around the world aiming to understand the emissions and properties of air pollutants from complex real-world combustion sources. For example, recent high profile examples like the various diesel emissions control scandals have shown that measurements under controlled laboratory conditions often do not capture real-world emissions. In addition, many combustion sources in the developing world are poorly characterized, or have never been measured. For instance, millions of small cooking fires burning a huge diversity of fuels contribute to enormous pollution across much of Asia and Africa. Measuring these sources in the field, or developing ways to accurately represent them in the laboratory, is an important need. Even when sources are not so remote, various important properties of emissions are not routinely measured. It is becoming ever more apparent that the physical and chemical evolution of the air pollutants in the atmosphere will dramatically alter their environmental impacts, but the properties important for understanding this evolution are typically not measured. For example, recent studies have shown that often-unmeasured classes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particularly from combustion sources, contribute substantially to gas and particle burdens in the atmosphere. Other properties that dictate emitted pollutants’ impacts on climate (e.g., particle mixing state) and health (e.g., toxicity or oxidative potential) are also important properties to measure. We welcome submissions from across disciplines aiming to improve our understanding of these burning questions. We look forward to your contribution to the effort!

Dr. Andrew Grieshop
Dr. Shantanu Jathar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • portable emission monitoring systems
  • combustion
  • biomass burning
  • vehicle emissions
  • photochemical aging
  • secondary aerosols
  • chemical transport modeling
  • source sampling
  • aerosol properties
  • carbonaceous aerosols
  • air pollution control

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Carbonaceous Particulate Matter Emitted from a Pellet-Fired Biomass Boiler
Atmosphere 2019, 10(9), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10090536 - 11 Sep 2019
Abstract
Biomass pellets are a source of renewable energy; although, the air pollution and exposure risks posed by the emissions from burning pellets in biomass boilers (BBs) are uncertain. The present study examines the organic species in fine particle matter (PM) emissions from an [...] Read more.
Biomass pellets are a source of renewable energy; although, the air pollution and exposure risks posed by the emissions from burning pellets in biomass boilers (BBs) are uncertain. The present study examines the organic species in fine particle matter (PM) emissions from an BB firing switchgrass (SwG) and hardwood (HW) biomass pellets using different test cycles. The organic and elemental carbon (OC and EC) content and select semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in filter-collected PM were identified and quantified using thermal-optical analysis and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), respectively. Fine PM emissions from the BB ranged from 0.4 g/kg to 2.91 g/kg of pellets burned of which 40% ± 17% w/w was carbon. The sum of GC–MS quantified SVOCs in the PM emissions varied from 0.13 to 0.41 g/g OC. Relatively high levels of oxygenated compounds were observed in the PM emissions, and the most predominant individual SVOC constituent was levoglucosan (12.5–320 mg/g OC). The effect of boiler test cycle on emissions was generally greater than the effect due to pellet fuel type. Organic matter emissions increased at lower loads, owing to less than optimal combustion performance. Compared with other types of residential wood combustion studies, pellet burning in the current BB lowered PM emissions by nearly an order of magnitude. PM emitted from burning pellets in boilers tested across multiple studies also contains comparatively less carbon; however, the toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the PM tested across these pellet-burning studies varied substantially, and produced 2–10 times more benzo[k]fluoranthene, dibenz[a,h]anthracene and indeno[1,2,3-c,d]pyrene on average. These results suggest that further toxicological evaluation of biomass pellet burning emissions is required to properly understand the risks posed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Real World Air Pollutant Emissions from Combustion Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
In-Home Emissions Performance of Cookstoves in Asia and Africa
Atmosphere 2019, 10(5), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10050290 - 24 May 2019
Abstract
This paper presents results from eight field studies in Asia and Africa on the emissions performance of 16 stove/fuel combinations measured during normal cooking events in homes. Characterizing real-world emissions performance is important for understanding the climate and health implications of technologies being [...] Read more.
This paper presents results from eight field studies in Asia and Africa on the emissions performance of 16 stove/fuel combinations measured during normal cooking events in homes. Characterizing real-world emissions performance is important for understanding the climate and health implications of technologies being promoted as alternatives to displace baseline cooking stoves and fuels. Almost all of the stove interventions were measured to have substantial reductions in PM2.5 and CO emissions compared to their respective baseline technologies (reductions of 24–87% and 25–80%, for PM2.5 and CO emission rates, respectively), though comparison with performance guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) suggests that further improvement for biomass stoves would help realize more health benefits. The emissions of LPG stoves were generally below the WHO interim PM2.5 emissions target (1.75 mg/min) though it was not clear how close they were to the most aspirational ISO (0.2 mg/min) or WHO (0.23 mg/min) targets as our limit of detection was 1.1 mg/min. Elemental and organic carbon emission factors and elemental-to-total carbon ratios (medians ranging from 0.11 to 0.42) were in line with previously reported field-based estimates for similar stove/fuel combinations. Two of the better performing forced draft stoves used with pellets—the Oorja (median ET/TC = 0.12) and Eco-Chula (median ET/TC = 0.42)—were at opposite ends of the range, indicating that important differences in combustion conditions can arise even between similar stove/fuel combinations. Field-based tests of stove performance also provide important feedback for laboratory test protocols. Comparison of these results to previously published water boiling test data from the laboratory reinforce the trend that stove performance is generally better during controlled laboratory conditions, with modified combustion efficiency (MCE) being consistently lower in the field for respective stove/fuel categories. New testing approaches, which operate stoves through a broader range of conditions, indicate potential for better MCE agreement than previous versions of water boiling tests. This improved agreement suggests that stove performance estimates from a new ISO laboratory testing protocol, including testing stoves across low, medium, and high firepower, may provide more representative estimates of real-world performance than previously used tests. More representative results from standardized laboratory testing should help push stove designs toward better real-world performance as well as provide a better indication of how the tested technologies will perform for the user. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Real World Air Pollutant Emissions from Combustion Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Atmospheric Pollutants from Urban Buses under Real-World Conditions: Implications of the Main Public Transport Mode in São Paulo, Brazil
Atmosphere 2019, 10(3), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10030108 - 01 Mar 2019
Abstract
The broad expanse of the urban metropolitan area of São Paulo (MASP) has made buses, the predominant public transport mode for commuters in the city. In 2016, the bus fleet in the MASP reached 56,354 buses and it was responsible for more than [...] Read more.
The broad expanse of the urban metropolitan area of São Paulo (MASP) has made buses, the predominant public transport mode for commuters in the city. In 2016, the bus fleet in the MASP reached 56,354 buses and it was responsible for more than 12 million daily trips. Here, we evaluate for the first time, the emission profile of gaseous and particulate pollutants from buses running on 7% biodiesel + 93% petroleum diesel and their spatial distribution in the MASP. This novel study, based on four bus terminal experiments, provides an extensive analysis of atmospheric pollutants of interest to public health and climate changes, such as CO2, CO, NOx, VOCs, PM10, PM2.5 and their constituents (black carbon (BC) and elements). Our results suggest that the renovation of the bus fleet from Euro II to Euro V and the incorporation of electric buses had a noticeable impact (by a factor of up to three) on the CO2 emissions and caused a decrease in NO emissions, by a factor of four to five. In addition, a comparison with previous Brazilian studies, shows that the newer bus fleet in the MASP emits fewer particles. Emissions from the public transport sector have implications for public health and air quality, not only by introducing reactive pollutants into the atmosphere but also by exposing the commuters to harmful concentrations. Our findings make a relevant contribution to the understanding of emissions from diesel-powered buses and about the impact of these new vehicular technologies on the air quality in the MASP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Real World Air Pollutant Emissions from Combustion Sources)
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