Wood is an important renewable energy source and its use is expected to increase as a substitute for non-renewable energies. However, non-ideal combustion results in high emissions of aerosol particles and gases. The latter may readily react in the atmosphere, producing secondary aerosol, which results in a substantially higher aerosol load from wood combustion than the primary (direct particulate) emissions.
Multiple studies point to severe health effects of particulate matter (PM) from wood combustion, making these emissions a concern for air quality. Thus, there is a strong target conflict between promotion of the use of wood as an energy source and its implications for the environment and human health. This project aims at quantifying the emissions from combustion devices of different combustion devices and combustion regimes. Besides the amount and composition of primary emissions, the secondary aerosol formation potential will be
investigated in cooperation with the PSI Laboratory for Atmospheric Chemistry (LAC) by means of a Potential Aerosol Mass (PAM) chamber wherein the photochemical ageing in the atmosphere can be simulated. In addition, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)
will be measured to determine the oxidative potential (OP) of primary and secondary PM as a measure for PM-induced oxidative stress within the lung.
From this data base, design recommendations for manufacturers to improve the combustion technology will be derived and the results will serve governmental authorities as a basis to set targets with respect of the use of wood combustion in the building sector.