Laboratory measurements of trace gas emissions from biomass burning of fuel types from the Southeastern and Southwestern United States
1University of Montana, Department of Chemistry, Missoula, MT 59812, USA
2University of Wollongong, Department of Chemistry, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
3Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Richland WA 99354, USA
4Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
5Chemical Sciences Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
6Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
Abstract. Vegetation commonly managed by prescribed burning was collected from five southeastern and southwestern US military bases and burned under controlled conditions at the US Forest Service Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Montana. The smoke emissions were measured with a large suite of state-of-the-art instrumentation including an open-path Fourier transform infrared (OP-FTIR) spectrometer for measurement of gas-phase species. The OP-FTIR detected and quantified 19 gas-phase species in these fires: CO2, CO, CH4, C2H2, C2H4, C3H6, HCHO, HCOOH, CH3OH, CH3COOH, furan, H2O, NO, NO2, HONO, NH3, HCN, HCl, and SO2. Emission factors for these species are presented for each vegetation type burned. Gas-phase nitrous acid (HONO), an important OH precursor, was detected in the smoke from all fires. The HONO emission factors ranged from 0.15 to 0.60 g kg−1 and were higher for the southeastern fuels. The fire-integrated molar emission ratios of HONO (relative to NOx) ranged from approximately 0.03 to 0.20, with higher values also observed for the southeastern fuels. The majority of non-methane organic compound (NMOC) emissions detected by OP-FTIR were oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOCs) with the total identified OVOC emissions constituting 61±12% of the total measured NMOC on a molar basis. These OVOC may undergo photolysis or further oxidation contributing to ozone formation. Elevated amounts of gas-phase HCl and SO2 were also detected during flaming combustion, with the amounts varying greatly depending on location and vegetation type. The fuels with the highest HCl emission factors were all located in the coastal regions, although HCl was also observed from fuels farther inland. Emission factors for HCl were generally higher for the southwestern fuels, particularly those found in the chaparral biome in the coastal regions of California.