Toxicity and impact of aerosol formation from wood combustion on ambient air

This project aims at understanding the link between wood combustion emissions, technology and operation modes, to identify the conditions that minimize the effects on air pollution.

Real-time measurements of flue gas emissions from 7 different wood combustion devices were performed. The devices included continuous and batch operated automated devices, and manually batch operated devices. Overall, conditions with higher combustion temperature and optimum air-to-fuel ratio resulted in lower emissions. In general, primary organic aerosol (OA) emissions from automated continuous devices were lowest under optimal burning conditions compared to the manual operated devices over a burning cycle. The reduced VOC emissions in automated devices can be mainly attributed to reduced small acids and carbonyls (C<6), which are not considered as typical secondary OA precursors. Further, it was found that particle-bound reactive oxygen species concentrations were 4-20 times higher in aged OA (includes both primary OA (POA) and SOA) than in their primary counterpart.


  • Bhattu D, Zotter P, Zhou J, Stefenelli G, Klein F, Bertrand A, et al.
    Effect of stove technology and combustion conditions on gas and particulate emissions from residential biomass combustion
    Environmental Science and Technology. 2019; 53(4): 2209-2219.