Emissions of particulate matter, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides from the residential burning of waste paper briquettes and other fuels

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Abstract

Using waste paper as fuel for domestic heating is a beneficial recycling option for small island developing states where there are lacks of resources for energy and waste treatment. However, there are concerns about the impact of air pollutants emitted from the burning of the self-made paper briquettes as household air pollution is recognised as the greatest environmental risk for human. In this study, combustion tests were carried out for paper briquettes made in one Pacific island and three commercial fuels in Australia including wood briquettes, kindling firewood and coal briquettes in order to: 1) characterise the emissions of three criteria air pollutants including particulate matters, CO and NOx including their emission factors (EF) from the tested fuels; and 2) compare the EFs among the tested fuels and with others reported in the literature. The results showed that waste paper briquettes burned quickly and generated high temperature but the heat value is relatively low. Paper briquettes and coal briquettes produced higher CO concentration than the others while paper briquettes generated the highest NOx level. Only PM2.5 concentration emitted from paper briquettes was similar to kindling firewood and lower than wood briquettes. Burning of paper briquettes and wood briquettes produced particulate matter with large average count median diameter (72 and 68 nm) than coal briquette and kindling firewood (45 and 51 nm). The EFs for CO, NOx and PM2.5 of paper briquettes were within the range of EFs reported in this study as well as in the literature. Overall, the results suggested that using paper briquettes as fuel for domestic heating will not likely to generate higher level of three major air pollutants compared to other traditional fuels.

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