Primary emissions and secondary production of organic aerosols from heated animal fats

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Tengyu Liu
  • Dawen Yao
  • Hai Guo
  • Chunlei Cheng

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Article number148638
Journal / PublicationScience of the Total Environment
Online published24 Jun 2021
Publication statusOnline published - 24 Jun 2021


Cooking is an important source of primary organic aerosol (POA) in urban areas, and it may also generate abundant non-methane organic gases (NMOGs), which form oxidized organic aerosol (OOA) after atmospheric oxidation. Edible fats play an important role in a balanced diet and are part of various types of cooking. We conducted laboratory studies to examine the primary emissions of POA and NMOGs and OOA formation using an oxidation flow reactor (OFR) for three animal fats (i.e., lard, beef and chicken fats) heated at two different temperatures (160 and 180 °C). Positive matrix factorization (PMF) revealed that OOA formed together with POA loss after photochemical aging, suggesting the conversion of some POA to OOA. The maximum OOA production rates (PRs) from heated animal fats, occurring under OH exposures (OHexp) of 8.3–15 × 1010 molecules cm−3 s, ranged from 8.9 to 24.7 μg min−1, 1.6–14.5 times as high as initial POA emission rates (ERs). NMOG emissions from heated animal fats were dominated by aldehydes, which contributed 14–71% of the observed OOA. We estimated that cooking-related OOA could contribute to as high as ~10% of total organic aerosol (OA) in an urban area in Hong Kong, where cooking OA (COA) dominated the POA. This study provides insights into the potential contribution of cooking to urban OOA, which might be especially pronounced when cooking contributions dominate the primary emissions.

Research Area(s)

  • Aerosol mass spectrometry, Atmospheric oxidation, Cooking emissions, Oxidized organic aerosol formation, Urban pollution