Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Chemistry

First Advisor

Professor Mahmoud A. Saleh


Twelve incense samples, six stick incense, and six dhoop style, from four different manufacturers were characterized by headspace-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (HS-GC/MS) and thermogravimetric analysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (TGA-GC/MS) under pyrolysis conditions. Burning incense is a popular practice around the world across all races, religions, ethnicities, nationalities, and ideologies. There are numerous studies which show the chemical composition of incense before burning or after burning. However, there are few studies that investigate the chemical composition both before burning and after burning. A chemical fingerprint for the incense before burning was determined using HS-GCIMS and many hazardous 1 2 compounds were found. The TGA-GC/MS was used to determine the products of pyrolysis and combustion under helium and oxygen atmospheres respectively. The TGAGC/ MS analysis showed the presence of benzene for four out of six samples and the different chemical compositions of incense after thermogravimetric analysis were suspected to be a result of distinct smoke-generating compounds used in the manufacturing of incense. This research provides preliminary evidence on the harmful emission products and their relationship to certain materials used in incense.