Project: Health effects of particulate emissions from small scale biomass combustion.

In the project “BIOHEALTH - Health effects of particulate emissions from small scale biomass combustion”, original scientific data on fine particle emissions from various combustion appliances and fuels and their relationship to activated toxicological responses was provided. Main findings of this study were that toxicological responses induced by fine particles in biomass combustion emissions are strongly dependent on their chemical composition. BIOHEALTH study indicates that the most harmful components of the particles are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), soot, and zinc oxide (ZnO). Only pure potassium salts (K2SO4 in this case) were non-toxic. With modern low emission residential biomass heating systems and correct operational practices it is possible to substantially reduce the total emissions and the harmful effects of fine particles. The chemical properties of these fine particles can vary considerably, but this project has identified that the PAH emissions are the most sensitive marker for combustion efficiency in relation to toxicity. At the same time soot is the major climate forcer in wood smoke emissions. Thus the promotion and support for new technologies, that Ensure efficient and complete combustion and prevent high soot and PAH emissions, is motivated by both public health and climate impact reasons. The project based on work in multidisciplinary consortium (engineering, physics, chemistry and toxicology) of 13 internationally well-established research partners from 4 countries. The BIOHEALTH project was coordinated by professor Jorma Jokiniemi at the University of Eastern FI.

Duration 01/11/2009 - 31/10/2012
Website visit project website
Call 4th Bioenergy Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
National competence centre for Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection France
Technical Research Centre of FI Finland
University of Eastern FI Coordinator Finland
Umeå University Sweden
Umeå University - University Hospital of Umeå - Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergy Sweden
National Public Health Institute Finland
Bioenergy 2020+ GmbH Austria
Lund University Sweden