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Cooking may contribute remarkably to our exposure to ultrafine particles


Ultrafine particles are a health hazard. You thought you get exposed only close to traffic? Unfortunately, not. People might have just as significant emissions sources in their homes.


Researchers from the university of Colorado, US, measured emissions of 1-1000 nm particles during a water boiling test on five different biofuel and fossil fuel cookstoves: three-stone fire, rocket elbow, gasifier, charcoal, and liquified petroleum gas (LPG). They recorded significant emissions of particles smaller than 10 nm for all cookstoves (> 5 x 10^15 particles per kg of fuel). They also noted that the cleaner fueled cookstoves emitted a larger number fraction of the smallest aerosol particles than traditional cookstoves: the median fraction of the number emissions of sub-11nm particles increased from 43% for the traditional cookstove (three-stone fire) to 96% for the cleanest cookstove (LPG).

All cookstoves produced high numbers of 1.1 – 3 nm particles. The researchers also noted that the sub 5-nm particles had a distinct mode that was separate from larger modes at particle sizes above 10nm.

In addition to measuring the emissions the researchers also estimated how the emitted particles would influence clouds and climate. To learn details of this interesting research please read:

Emissions and radiative impacts of sub-10 nm particles from biofuel and fossil fuel cookstoves

Shantanu H. Jathar, Naman Sharma, Kelsey R. Bilsback, Jeffrey R. Pierce, Joonas Vanhanen, Timothy D. Gordon, and John Volckens

Aerosol Science and Technology,


To learn more about the A11 nCNC (PSM) system that was used for these measurements, please visit


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