Characterization of Chemical Contaminants in Soot and Residues from Uncontrolled Combustion

In Kenya uncontrolled combustion of materials ranging from waste to tyres is a major issue especially in areas where there is human settlement, that is near slams and residential areas. In addition to that many people especially those that are in rural areas use firewood and charcoal as a source of energy. The burning of this substances leads to the production of soot.


Tyre burning could cause severe health risks to children and adults, the burning of tyres releases a toxic soup of pollutants.  Children are especially at risk. For many of these pollutants there is inadequate information on their toxicity. Hundreds of different toxic pollutants are created by burning tyres as well as from the soot produced after firewood is burnt.


The overall objective is to identify the contaminants in soot and tyre residues from uncontrolled combustion, from this I will be able to identify the effects of the contaminants to the environment and atmosphere. This done through soxhlet extraction and then the compounds are identified by using the GC-MS.


From the research PAH’S such as pyrene, benzo[a]anthracene, anthracene and flouranthene are found in firewood soot and naphthalene is found in tyre residue. This compounds have various toxic effects to the health of human beings. Moreover it was found that minimal contaminants were found in charcoal soot hence proving that it is safer than firewood as a source of fuel.

This research has proved that firewood is much more un-safer than charcoal as a source of fuel and the burning of tyres is harmful to the environment.

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