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Reducing Air Pollution Emissions from Burning Incense with the Addition of Calcium Carbonate

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Volume: 12 | Issue: 5 | Pages: 972-980
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2011.09.0145
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Chi-Ru Yang 1, Ta-Chang Lin2, Yen-Shun Peng3, Sun-Zone Lee1, Yih-Feng Chang4

  • 1 Department of Environmental Engineering and Science, Chia-Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan 71710, Taiwan
  • 2 Department of Environmental Engineering National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
  • 3 Department of Environmental Resources Management, Chia-Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan 71710, Taiwan
  • 4 Institute of Hot Spring Industry, Chia-Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan 71710, Taiwan


A laboratory-scale study was performed to quantify the pollutant reduction effects from burning incense with the addition of CaCO3. Many studies have investigated the effects of burning incense on the quality of surrounding air, focusing primarily on particulate matter (PM) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). However, the reduction of PM and PAHs from burning incense has received little attention. In our past study, we investigated nine types of commercially available incense and found that incense with a higher CaCO3 content had lower PM and PAH emissions factors. Five to thirty percent of CaCO3 was added to Liao and Chen incense powder, which are popular incense materials. The experimental results indicate that the reductions in the emissions of PM and PAHs from burning incense increased with along with amount of CaCO3 additive. Mean PM reductions for 5.0%, 10.0%, 20.0%, and 30.0% CaCO3 were 11 ± 2%, 15 ± 3%, 27 ± 1%, and 41 ± 3%, respectively. Mean particle-phase PAHs (P-PAHs) reductions were 9 ± 9%, 15 ± 5%, 22 ± 1%, and 28 ± 1%, respectively, and 5 ± 6%, 21 ± 1%, 21 ± 3%, and 30 ± 2% for total benzo[a]pyrene equivalent concentration (total BaPeq), respectively. This study was performed to quantify the reduction of PM and PAH emissions from burning incense with increasing amounts of CaCO3. The findings of this study may serve as a guide to producing safer and less-polluting incense.


Incense Calcium carbonate Particulate matter Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Total benzo[a]pyrene equivalent concentration

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