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Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from cooking and their speciation: A case study for Shanghai with implications for China

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • Hongli Wang
  • Zhiyuan Xiang
  • Lina Wang
  • Shengao Jing
  • Shengrong Lou
  • Shikang Tao
  • Jing Liu
  • Mingzhou Yu
  • Li Li
  • Li Lin
  • Ying Chen
  • Alfred Wiedensohler
  • Changhong Chen
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/04/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Science of the Total Environment
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)1300-1309
Early online date18/10/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Cooking emission is one of sources for ambient volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which is deleterious to air quality, climate and human health. These emissions are especially of great interest in large cities of East and Southeast Asia. We conducted a case study in which VOC emissions from kitchen extraction stacks have been sampled in total 57 times in the Megacity Shanghai. To obtain representative data, we sampled VOC emissions from kitchens, including restaurants of seven common cuisine types, canteens, and family kitchens. VOC species profiles and their chemical reactivities have been determined. The results showed that 51.26% ± 23.87% of alkane and 24.33 ± 11.69% of oxygenated VOCs (O-VOCs) dominate the VOC cooking emissions. Yet, the VOCs with the largest ozone formation potential (OFP) and secondary organic aerosol potential (SOAP) were from the alkene and aromatic categories, accounting for 6.8–97.0% and 73.8–98.0%, respectively. Barbequing has the most potential of harming people's heath due to its significant higher emissions of acetaldehyde, hexanal, and acrolein. Methodologies for calculating VOC emission factors (EF) for restaurants that take into account VOCs emitted per person (EFperson), per kitchen stove (EFkitchen stove) and per hour (EFhour) are developed and discussed. Methodologies for deriving VOC emission inventories (S) from restaurants are further defined and discussed based on two categories: cuisine types (Stype) and restaurant scales (Sscale). The range of Stype and Sscale are 4124.33–7818.04 t/year and 1355.11–2402.21 t/year, respectively. We also found that Stype and Sscale for 100,000 people are 17.07–32.36 t/year and 5.61–9.95 t/year, respectively. Based on Environmental Kuznets Curve, the annual total amount of VOCs emissions from catering industry in different provinces in China was estimated, which was 5680.53 t/year, 6122.43 t/year, and 66,244.59 t/year for Shangdong and Guangdong provinces and whole China, respectively. Large and medium-scaled restaurants should be paid more attention with respect to regulation of VOCs.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Science of the Total Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Science of the Total Environment, 621, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.098