Smoke consists of gases and airborne particles produces as a result of combustion or burning. The specific chemicals depend on the fuel used to produce the fire. Here is a look as some of the principal chemicals produced from wood smoke. Keep in mind, there are thousands of chemicals in smoke so the chemical composition of smoke is extremely complex.
Chemicals in SmokeIn addition to the chemicals listed in the table, wood smoke also contains a large amount of unreacted air, carbon dioxide and water. It contains a variable amount of mold spores. VOCs are volatile organic compounds. Aldehydes found in wood smoke include formaldehyde, acrolein, propionaldehyde, butryaldehyde, acetaldehyde and furfural. Alkyl benzenes found in wood smoke include toluene. Oxygenated monoaromatics include guaiacol, phenol, syringol and catechol. Numerous PAHs or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are found in smoke. Many trace elements are released.
Reference: 1993 EPA Report, A Summary of the Emissions Characterization and Noncancer Respiratory Effects of Wood Smoke, EPA-453/R-93-036
Chemical Composition of Wood Smoke
|total particle mass||7-30|
|particulate organic carbon||2-20|
|normal alkanes (C24-C30)||1x10-3-6x10-3|