Three mercury (Hg) species (gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM), and fine particulate-bound mercury (PBM2.5)) were measured in the stack of a small scale wood combustion chamber at 400°C, in the stack of an advanced wood boiler, and in two areas influenced by wood combustion. The low temperature process (lab-scale) emitted mostly GEM (~99% when burning wood pellets and ~95% when burning unprocessed wood). The high temperature wood boiler emitted a greater proportion of oxidized Hg (approximately 65%) than the low temperature system. In field measurements, mean PBM2.5 concentrations at the rural and urban sites in winter were statistically significantly higher than in warmer seasons and were well correlated with Delta-C concentrations, a wood combustion indictor measured by an aethalometer (UV-absorbable carbon minus black carbon). Overall the results suggest that wood combustion may be an important source of oxidized mercury (mostly in the particulate phase) in northern climates in winter.
- Biomass burning
- Space heating
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis