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Characterisation of fire generated particles: BRANDFORSK project 700-061, FireTechnology, SP Report 2010:01
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Analytical Chemistry.
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2010 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Characterisation of fire generated particles

The present project has examined the question of distribution patterns of important chemical compounds between gas phase and particle phase. It has also, in some cases, addressed the question of the distribution of individual particle-associated species between the different size-ranges of particles produced in a fire. The chemical compounds studied were hydrogen chloride (HCl), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and isocyanates.

The steady-state tube furnace, ISO/TS 19700, was chosen as the physical fire model in order to study the production of particles from different types of fire exposure. Three different fire types were investigated: oxidative pyrolysis, well-ventilated flaming fires and vitiated post flashover. Two materials were chosen for investigation, PVC-carpet and wood board, based on their prevalence fire exposure scenarios and their chemical composition. The particle production from the two materials investigated varied both concerning the amounts produced and the particle size distributions. The production of particles on a mass basis was generally significantly lower from the wood board compared with the PVC-carpet. The tests with the PVC-carpet showed that relatively large particles are produced from all combustion conditions examined. The tests made with the wood board show preferably predisposition towards the production of small-sized particles during flaming combustion.

The analysis of PAHs in the tests with the PVC-carpet showed that volatile PAHs were dominate during all types of combustion. However, when the toxicity of the individual species was taken into account, the relative importance between volatile and particle associated PAHs changed. From the tests with the wood board material (OSB) it was noted that the highest yields of total PAHs were found from under ventilated conditions, and the volatile part of the total PAH dominated for this material as well. The yields found from the well-ventilated tests were very low. Toxicity weighted data showed that the particle associated part dominated the toxicity both for under ventilated and well-ventilated conditions.

A study made of the presence of chlorine on particles showed that it is clear that the major part of the HCl produced during combustion of the PVC-carpet is present in the gas phase. Chlorine was found associated with particulates but these results were, however, inconclusive due to the difficulty in determining the source of the chlorine found in the soot fractions studied.

The low polyurethane (PUR) content and the substantial degradation of the PUR in the tests resulted in no or very small amounts of quantifiable isocyanate dimers (i.e. high molecular species). Monoisocyanates such as ICA and MIC dominated in the emitted degradation products. These kinds of monoisocyanates are volatile compounds and almost exclusively present in the gas phase.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 107 p.
, SP Report, ISSN 0284-5172 ; 2010:01
Keyword [en]
particles, aerosol, size distribution, PAH, HCl, isocyanates
National Category
Analytical Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-84086OAI: diva2:578326
Available from: 2012-12-18 Created: 2012-12-18 Last updated: 2013-10-15Bibliographically approved

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Karlsson, Daniel
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