Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Generation and Transport of Smoke Components.



Kathryn M. Butler, George W. Mulholland


Smoke is a mixture of gases and suspended particulate matter, or aerosols. The nature of the aerosol component of smoke can play a significant role in the lethal and sublethal effects on people. This paper presents the current state of knowledge about factors that affect smoke toxicity:soot generation, fractal structure of soot, agglomerate transport via thermophoresis, sedimentation, and diffusion, agglomerate growth through coagulation and condensation, and the potential for the aerosols to transport adborbed or absorbed toxic gases or vapors into the lungs. Tables are included for measured smoke yields and aerodynamic particle sies, equations and references are provided for the smoke agglomerate transport properties and wall loss, and key literature references are provided for adsorption of irritant gases on soot particles and water droplets and the toxicity of nanosize particles.
Fire Technology


smoke transport, aerosols, smoke generation, toxicity, particulates, smoke yield, morphology, flaming combustion, toxic gases, combustion


Butler, K. and Mulholland, G. (2004), Generation and Transport of Smoke Components., Fire Technology, [online], (Accessed June 22, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created April 1, 2004, Updated June 2, 2021