Pollution from cooking emissions can linger in the air for days: study

Organic aerosols – such as those released during cooking – can remain in the atmosphere for several days, due to nanostructures formed by fatty acids when released into the air, a study has found.

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London: Organic Aerosols — such as those released in cooking — can stay in the atmosphere for several days, because of the nanostructures formed by the fatty acids during their release into the air, finds a study.

These types of aerosols have long been associated with poor air quality in urban areas, but their impact on human-induced climate change is difficult to assess. This is due to the diversity of molecules present in aerosols and their varying interactions with the environment.

“Cooking aerosols account for up to 10% of particulate matter (PM) emissions. Finding accurate ways to predict their behavior will give us much more accurate ways to assess their contribution to climate change as well,” the author said. principal, Dr Christian Pfrang, from the University of Birmingham.

Experts from the Universities of Birmingham and Bath have probed the behavior of thin films of oleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid commonly released during cooking.

In the study, published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, they used a theoretical model combined with experimental data to predict how long aerosols generated by cooking can remain in the environment.

“We’re discovering more and more how molecules like these kitchen fatty acids can organize themselves into bilayers and other regular shapes and stacks in aerosol droplets floating through the air, and how that completely changes the speed at which they degrade, how long they persist in the atmosphere, and how they affect Pollution and the weather,” said co-author Dr Adam Squires, from the University of Bath.

Previous research suggests that cooking with gas produces about twice as much PM2.5 as electricity. It also produces nitrogen oxides (NOx), including nitrogen oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and formaldehyde (CH2O or HCHO). All of these pollutants are health risks if not properly managed.

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