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Emissions of levoglucosan, methoxy phenols, and organic acids from prescribed burns, laboratory combustion of wildland fuels, and residential wood combustion


Emissions of levoglucosan, methoxy phenols, and organic acids from prescribed burns, laboratory combustion of wildland fuels, and residential wood combustion



Environmental Science and Technology 41(7): 2115-2122



ISSN/ISBN: 0013-936X

PMID: 17438751

DOI: 10.1021/es061702c

Biomass combustion emissions make a significant contribution to the overall particulate pollution in the troposphere. Wildland or prescribed burns and residential wood combustion emissions can vary due to differences in fuel, season, time of day, and the nature of the combustion. Inadequate understanding of the relevance of these biomass combustion emissions is due to the lack of characterization of open combustion emissions and the limited understanding of the differences between these and residential wood combustion. To provide new insight to biomass combustion emissions, sampling was conducted in several types of conditions. Semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC) were collected during four separate prescribed burns in three different ecosystems, Mariposa Sequoia Grove within Yosemite National Park, CA, desert brushes of central rural Nevada, and Toiyabye National Forest near Lake Tahoe, NV. SVOC samples were also collected under controlled conditions for several wildland fuels, including conifer needles, wildland grasses, and sagebrush. Fireplace emissions from simulated residential wood combustion were also collected and are included here for comparison. A high degree of variability was found in the emissions of organic carbon, elemental carbon, levoglucosan, methoxy phenols, and organic acids. The variability in the emissions of levoglucosan does not correlate with the PM2.5 gravimetric mass and thus may affect source apportionment estimates.

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