Incense burning is a common practice in Asian cultures, releasing hazardous particulate organics. Inhaling incense smoke can result in adverse health effects, yet the molecular compositions of incense-burning organics have not been well investigated due to the lack of measurement of intermediate-volatility and semi-volatile organic compounds (I/SVOCs). To elucidate the detailed emission profile of incense-burning particles, we conducted a non-target measurement of organics emitted from incense combustion. Quartz filters were utilized to trap particles, and organics were analyzed by a comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC × GC–MS) coupled with a thermal desorption system (TDS). To deal with the complex data obtained by GC × GC–MS, homologs are identified mainly by the combination of selected ion chromatograms (SICs) and retention indexes. SICs of 58, 60, 74, 91, and 97 were utilized to identify 2-ketones, acids, fatty acid methyl esters, fatty acid phenylmethyl esters, and alcohols, respectively. Phenolic compounds contribute the most to emission factors (EFs) among all chemical classes, taking up 24.5 % ± 6.5 % of the total EF (96.1 ± 43.1 μg g−1). These compounds are largely derived from the thermal degradation of lignin. Biomarkers like sugars (mainly levoglucosan), hopanes, and sterols are extensively detected in incense combustion fumes. Incense materials play a more important role in shaping emission profiles than incense forms. Our study provides a detailed emission profile of particulate organics emitted from incense burning across the full-volatility range, which can be used in the health risk assessments. The data processing procedure in this work could also benefit those with less experience in non-target analysis, especially GC × GC–MS data processing.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 42107115 , 22221004 , 42275104 , 41977179 ), the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province, China (No. ZR2021QD111 ), the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (No. 11304121 , 11314222 , R1016-20F ) and the special fund of State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control (No. 22Y01SSPCP ).
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.
- GC × GC
- Incense burning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal