The absence of solid particles in the mainstream aerosol of THS 2.2.

Investigation of solid particles in the mainstream aerosol of the Tobacco Heating System THS2.2 and mainstream smoke of a 3R4F reference cigarette


ABSTRACT

Combustion of biomass produces solid carbon particles, whereas their generation is highly unlikely when a biomass is heated instead of being burnt. For instance, in the Tobacco Heating System (THS2.2), the tobacco is heated below 350°C and no combustion takes place. Consequently, at this relatively low temperature, released compounds should form an aerosol consisting of suspended liquid droplets via a homogeneous nucleation process. To verify this assumption, mainstream aerosol generated by the heat-not-burn product, THS2.2, was assessed in comparison with mainstream smoke produced from the 3R4F reference cigarette for which solid particles are likely present. For this purpose, a methodology was developed based on the use of a commercial Dekati thermodenuder operating at 300°C coupled with a two-stage impactor to trap solid particles. If any particles were collected, they were subsequently analyzed by a scanning electron microscope and an electron dispersive X-ray. The setup was first assessed using glycerine-based aerosol as a model system. The removal efficiency of glycerin was determined to be 86 ± 2% using a Trust Science Innovation (TSI) scanning mobility particle sizer, meaning that quantification of solid particles can be achieved as long as their fraction is larger than 14% in number. From experiments conducted using the 3R4F reference cigarette, the methodology showed that approximately 80% in number of the total particulate matter was neither evaporated nor removed by the thermodenuder. This 80% in number was attributed to the presence of solid particles and/or low volatile liquid droplets. The particles collected on the impactor were mainly carbon based. Oxygen, potassium, and chloride traces were also noted. In comparison, solid particles were not detected in the aerosol of THS2.2 after passing through the thermodenuder operated at 300°C. This result is consistent with the fact that no combustion process takes place in THS2.2 and no formation and subsequent transfer of solid carbon particles is expected to occur in the mainstream aerosol.