Environmental Science & Technology
American Chemical Society
A large woodstove changeout program was carried out in Libby, Montana, with the goal of reducing ambient levels of PM2.5. This provided researchers the opportunity to measure ambient concentrations of phenolic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) before, during, and after the changeout of nearly 1200 stoves to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. Starting in the heating season of 2004/2005 and ending in the heating season of 2007/2008, 19 compounds were measured every three days using a high-volume polyurethane foam (PUF) sampler followed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis. Some of the organic species with the highest measured concentrations were also signature chemical markers for wood combustion. When comparing the measurements conducted during the heating season of 2004/2005 (prechangeout) to those of the heating season of 2007/2008 (postchangeout), there was a 64% average reduction in the measured concentrations of phenolics and PAHs, while the PM2.5 mass dropped by only 20% over the same time period. The results of this four year sampling program suggest that the Libby woodstove changeout program was successful in reducing overall concentrations of the measured phenolic and PAH compounds.
©2009 American Chemical Society