Dynamic behavior of indoor ultrafine particles (2.3-64 nm) due to burning candles in a residence

Lance Wallace, Su Gwang Jeong, Donghyun Rim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A major source of human exposure to ultrafine particles is candle use. Candles produce ultrafine particles in the size range under 10 nm, with perhaps half of the particles less than 5 nm. For these small particles at typically high concentrations, coagulation and deposition are two dominant mechanisms in aerosol size dynamics. We present an updated coagulation model capable of characterizing the relative contributions of coagulation, deposition, and air exchange rates. Size-resolved coagulation and decay rates are estimated for three types of candles. Number, area, and mass distributions are provided for 93 particle sizes from 2.33 to 64 nm. Total particle production was in the range of 1013 min−1. Peak number, area, and mass concentrations occurred at particle sizes of '3, 20, and 40 nm, respectively. Both the number and area concentrations greatly exceeded background concentrations in the residence studied. Contributions of coagulation, deposition, and air exchange rates to particle losses were 65%, 34%, and 0.3% at high concentrations (106 cm−3), while they are 17%, 81%, and 1.7% at lower concentrations (3 × 104 cm−3), respectively. The increased particle production for the very smallest particles (2.33-2.50 nm) suggests that even smaller particles may be important to study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1018-1027
Number of pages10
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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