First Characterization of Biomass Burning Smoke from Cooking Fires, Peat, Crop Residue and Other Fuels By High Resolution PTR-TOF Mass Spectrometry and FTIR
Friday, 19 December 2014: 9:15 AM
Biomass burning (BB) is a major influence on Earth’s atmosphere, but for many fire-types the emissions have only been measured for a few species. For all types of BB, progress has been limited by a lack of information on the emissions of semi-volatile organic gases that are precursors for secondary aerosol and ozone. During the Fourth Fire Lab at Missoula Experiment (FLAME-4), the BB emissions from 158 laboratory fires were quantified by ~40 scientists for an assortment of globally relevant fuels including rarely sampled sources such as US and Asian crop residue; Indonesian and extratropical peat; and cooking fires in traditional and advanced stoves. In this work, we present the primary emissions of gas-phase non-methane organic compounds (NMOCs) measured using an advanced Proton-Transfer-Reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS) in tandem with measurements of other major emissions by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. We developed a composition and mass dependent sensitivity and best assignments for many observed peaks. The known and tentatively assigned peaks together account for ~80-96% of total observed NMOC mass. Much of the NMOC mass is rarely measured or previously unmeasured high molecular mass compounds including ringed aromatic hydrocarbons, phenolic compounds, and furans, which are all secondary organic aerosol precursors. Large air quality benefits are demonstrated for more advanced cooking technologies. This work produced globally relevant emission ratios and emission factors to better represent biomass burning in current atmospheric models.