Emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds from combustion of domestic fuels in Delhi, India

Gareth J. Stewart, W. Joe F. Acton, Beth S. Nelson, Adam R. Vaughan, James R. Hopkins, Rahul Arya, Arnab Mondal, Ritu Jangirh, Sakshi Ahlawat, Lokesh Yadav, Sudhir K. Sharma, Rachel E. Dunmore, Siti S.M. Yunus, C. Nicholas Hewitt, Eiko Nemitz, Neil Mullinger, Ranu Gadi, Lokesh K. Sahu, Nidhi Tripathi, Andrew R. RickardJames D. Lee, Tuhin K. Mandal, Jacqueline F. Hamilton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Twenty-nine different fuel types used in residential dwellings in northern India were collected from across Delhi (76 samples in total). Emission factors of a wide range of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) (192 compounds in total) were measured during controlled burning experiments using dualchannel gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection (DC-GC-FID), two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC-FID), proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) and solid-phase extraction two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-offlight mass spectrometry (SPE-GC×GC-ToF-MS). On average, 94% speciation of total measured NMVOC emissions was achieved across all fuel types. The largest contributors to emissions from most fuel types were small non-aromatic oxygenated species, phenolics and furanics. The emission factors (in g kg-1) for total gas-phase NMVOCs were fuelwood (18.7, 4.3-96.7), cow dung cake (62.0, 35.3-83.0), crop residue (37.9, 8.9-73.8), charcoal (5.4, 2.4-7.9), sawdust (72.4, 28.6-115.5), municipal solid waste (87.3, 56.6- 119.1) and liquefied petroleum gas (5.7, 1.9-9.8). The emission factors measured in this study allow for better characterisation, evaluation and understanding of the air quality impacts of residential solid-fuel combustion in India.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2383-2406
Number of pages24
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements. This work was supported by the Newton-Bhabha fund administered by the UK Natural Environment Research Council, through the DelhiFlux project of the Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health in an Indian Megacity (APHH-India) programme. The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the UK Natural Environment Research Council and the Earth System Science Organization, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, under the Indo-UK Joint Collaboration (grant nos. NE/P016502/1 and MoES/16/19/2017/APHH) (DelhiFlux). Gareth J. Stewart and Beth S. Nelson acknowledge the NERC SPHERES doctoral training programme for studentships. Rahul Arya, Arnab Mondal, Ritu Jangirh, Sakshi Ahlawat, Lokesh Yadav, Sudhir K. Sharma and Tuhin K. Mandal are thankful to the Director’s Office, CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, for allowing them to carry out this work. The authors thank the National Centre for Atmospheric Science for providing the DC-GC-FID instrument. Lokesh K. Sahu acknowledges the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, India, for the support and permission to deploy PTR-ToF-MS during the experimental campaign.

Funding Information:
Financial support. This research has been supported by the Nat-

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) 2021.

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