Characteristics of PCDD/Fs in PM2.5 from emission stacks and the nearby ambient air in Taiwan

Shih Yu Pan, Yi Ting Liou, Moo Been Chang, Charles C.K. Chou, Tuan Hung Ngo, Kai Hsien Chi

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This study aimed to find the characteristics of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in fine particulate matter from different stationary emission sources (coal-fired boiler, CFB; municipal waste incinerator, MWI; electric arc furnace, EAF) in Taiwan and the relationship between PM2.5 and PM2.5-bound PCDD/Fs with Taiwanese mortality risk. PM2.5 was quantified using gravimetry and corresponding chemical analyses were done for PM2.5-bound chemicals. Mortality risks of PM2.5 exposure and PCDD/Fs exposure were calculated using Poisson regression. The highest concentration of PM2.5 (0.53 ± 0.39 mg/Nm3) and PCDD/Fs (0.206 ± 0.107 ng I-TEQ/Nm3) was found in CFB and EAF, respectively. Higher proportions of PCDDs over PCDFs were observed in the flue gases of CFB and MWI whereas it was reversed in EAF. For ambient air, PCDD/F congeners around the stationary sources were dominated by PCDFs in vapor phase. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) analysis found that the sources of atmosphere PCDD/Fs were 14.6% from EAF (r = 0.81), 52.6% from CFB (r = 0.74), 18.0% from traffic (r = 0.85) and 14.8% from MWI (r = 0.76). For the dioxin congener distribution, PCDDs were dominant in flue gases of CFB and MWI, PCDFs were dominant in EAF. It may be attributed to the different formation mechanisms among wastes incineration, steel-making, and coal-burning processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8093
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


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