Speciated online PM1 from South Asian combustion sources-Part 1: Fuel-based emission factors and size distributions

J. Douglas Goetz, Michael R. Giordano, Chelsea E. Stockwell, Ted J. Christian, Rashmi Maharjan, Sagar Adhikari, Prakash V. Bhave, Puppala S. Praveen, Arnico K. Panday, Thilina Jayarathne, Elizabeth A. Stone, Robert J. Yokelson, Peter F. Decarlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Combustion of biomass, garbage, and fossil fuels in South Asia has led to poor air quality in the region and has uncertain climate forcing impacts. Online measurements of submicron aerosol (PM1) emissions were conducted as part of the Nepal Ambient Monitoring and Source Testing Experiment (NAMaSTE) to investigate and report emission factors (EFs) and vacuum aerodynamic diameter (dva) size distributions from prevalent but poorly characterized combustion sources. The online aerosol instrumentation included a qmini aerosol mass spectrometer (mAMS) and a dual-spot eight-channel aethalometer (AE33). The mAMS measured non-refractory PM1 mass, composition, and size. The AE33-measured black carbon (BC) mass and estimated light absorption at 370 nm due to organic aerosol or brown carbon. Complementary gas-phase measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and methane (CH4) were collected using a Picarro Inc. cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS) to calculate fuel-based EFs using the carbon mass balance approach. The investigated emission sources include open garbage burning, diesel-powered irrigation pumps, idling motorcycles, traditional cookstoves fueled with dung and wood, agricultural residue fires, and coal-fired brick-making kilns, all of which were tested in the field. Open-garbage-burning emissions, which included mixed refuse and segregated plastics, were found to have some of the largest PM1 EFs (3.77-19.8 g k-1) and the highest variability of the investigated emission sources. Non-refractory organic aerosol (OA) size distributions measured by the mAMS from garbage-burning emissions were observed to have lognormal mode dva values ranging from 145 to 380 nm. Particle-phase hydrogen chloride (HCl) was observed from open garbage burning and was attributed to the burning of chlorinated plastics. Emissions from two diesel-powered irrigation pumps with different operational ages were tested during NAMaSTE. Organic aerosol and BC were the primary components of the emissions and the OA size distributions were centered at ∼ 80 nm dva. The older pump was observed to have significantly larger EFOA than the newer pump (5.18 g k-1 compared to 0.45 g k-1) and similar EFBC. Emissions from two distinct types of coal-fired brick-making kilns were investigated. The less advanced, intermittently fired clamp kiln was observed to have relatively large EFs of inorganic aerosol, including sulfate (0.48 g k-1) and ammonium (0.17 g k-1), compared to the other investigated emission sources. The clamp kiln was also observed to have the largest absorption Ångström exponent (AAE Combining double low line 4) and organic carbon (OC) to BC ratio (OC: BC Combining double low line 52). The continuously fired zigzag kiln was observed to have the largest fraction of sulfate emissions with an EFSO4 of 0.96 g k-1. Non-refractory aerosol size distributions for the brick kilns were centered at ∼ 400 nm dva. The biomass burning samples were all observed to have significant fractions of OA and non-refractory chloride; based on the size distribution results, the chloride was mostly externally mixed from the OA. The dung-fueled traditional cookstoves were observed to emit ammonium, suggesting that the chloride emissions were partially neutralized. In addition to reporting EFs and size distributions, aerosol optical properties and mass ratios of OC to BC were investigated to make comparisons with other NAMaSTE results (i.e., online photoacoustic extinctiometer (PAX) and off-line filter based) and the existing literature. This work provides critical field measurements of aerosol emissions from important yet under-characterized combustion sources common to South Asia and the developing world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14653-14679
Number of pages27
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 12 2018


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