Investigation into the oxidative potential generated by the formation of particulate matter from incense combustion

Hsiao Chi Chuang, Kelly BéruBé, Shih Chun C. Lung, Kuan Jen Bai, Tim Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The formation of aerosols during combustion plays an important role in allowing released products to interreact, leading to an increase in particulate matter oxidative potential. This study investigated the physicochemistry of incense combustion-derived pollutants, which were emitted into the ambient air as solid and gas phases, followed by the determination of their oxidative potential. Upon combustion of a joss stick, approximately 60% of the mass of incense raw ingredients was released into the ambient air as combustion products including 349.51mg/g PM10, 145.48mg/g CO and 0.16mg/g NOx. Furthermore, incense combustion produced significant number of primary particles (51/h. The NOx generated during incense combustion was able to react with CaCO3 to produce the final product of Ca(NO3)2 in the ambient air. Moreover, coagulation could be a vital process for the growth of primary incense combustion particles through the intermixing with volatile organics. The incense particle's reactions with other combustion-derived products could be responsible for their significant oxidative capacity of 33.1-43.4% oxidative DNA damage. This study demonstrated that the oxidative potential of incense particles appeared to be related to the process of particle formation, and also provided novel data for the respiratory exposure assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-150
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2013


  • Calcium carbonate
  • Carbon nitrate
  • Incense
  • Nitrogen oxide
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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