Science Inventory

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Fine Particulate Matter Emitted from Burning Kerosene, Liquid Petroleum Gas, and Wood Fuels in Household Cookstoves


Shen, G., W. Preston, S. Ebersviller, C. Williams, J. Faircloth, J. Jetter, AND M. Hays. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Fine Particulate Matter Emitted from Burning Kerosene, Liquid Petroleum Gas, and Wood Fuels in Household Cookstoves. ENERGY AND FUELS. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 31(3):3081-3090, (2017).


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) cookstove testing program was first developed to assist the EPA-led Partnership for Clean Indoor Air and is now part of the U.S. Government’s commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves the Alliance). Goals of the testing program are to: 1.Support the development of testing protocols and standards for cookstoves through ISO TC (Technical Committee) 285: Clean Cookstoves and Clean Cooking Solutions. 2.Support the development of international Regional Testing and Knowledge Centers many sponsored by the Alliance) for scientifically evaluating and certifying cookstoves to international standards. 3.Provide an independent source of data to Alliance partners. This work supports EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. Household air pollution, mainly from solid-fuel cookstoves in the developing world, is estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to cause approximately 4 million premature deaths per year, and emissions of black carbon and other pollutants from cookstoves affect regional and global climate. A coordinated multi-national multi-disciplinary approach, including the development of standards and testing, is designed to improve global health and the environment through clean cooking solutions.


This study measured polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) composition in particulate matter emissions from residential cookstoves. A variety of fuel and cookstove combinations were examined, including: (i) liquid petroleum gas (LPG), (ii) kerosene in a wick stove, (iii) wood (10% and 30% moisture content on a wet basis) in a forced-draft fan stove, and (iv) wood in a natural-draft rocket cookstove. LPG combustion had the highest thermal efficiency (~57%) and the lowest PAH emissions per unit fuel energy, resulting in the lowest PAH emissions per useful energy delivered (MJd). The average benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) emission factor for LPG was 0.842 µg/MJd; the emission rate was 0.043 µg/min. The highest PAH emissions were from wood burning in the natural-draft stove (209-700 µg B[a]P/MJd). PAH emissions from kerosene were significantly lower than those from the wood burning in the natural-draft cookstove, but higher than those from LPG. It is expected that in rural regions where LPG and kerosene are unavailable or unaffordable, the forced-draft fan stove may be an alternative because its emission factor (5.17-8.07 µg B[a]P/MJd) and emission rate (0.52-0.57 µg/min) are similar to kerosene (5.36 µg B[a]P/MJd and 0.45 µg/min). Compared with wood combustion emissions, LPG stoves emit less total PAH emissions and less fractions of high molecular weight PAHs. Relatively large variations in PAH emissions from LPG call for additional future tests to identify the major factors influencing emissions. These future tests should also account for different LPG fuel compositions and burner types.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 01/14/2017
Record Last Revised: 06/02/2020
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 336381