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Special Issue "Biomass Emissions"

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A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Charles Ichoku

Climate & Radiation Branch, Code 613.2, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our environment, air quality, health, weather, and climate are impacted in various ways by particulate and gaseous emissions emanating from different biomass transformation processes, ranging from natural occurrences such as biogenic emissions and lightning-induced forest fires, to human activities such as domestic cooking, biofuel production, biomass-based power generation, savanna fires, and other types of biomass burning used for agricultural, ecological-control, and related purposes. However, biogenic emissions and those from domestic cooking and biofuel production represent special topics in themselves, and will not be emphasized in this “Biomass Emissions” special issue, which will focus on direct emissions from open biomass burning. Such biomass burning events occur seasonally in different vegetated landscapes across the world, consuming large amounts of biomass, and emitting corresponding amounts of smoke plumes that comprise aerosols and trace gases, which include carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), non-methane hydrocarbons, and numerous other trace compounds. Accurate estimates of these emissions are required as model inputs to monitor, assess, and forecast smoke plume transport and impacts. Although much progress has been made in fire emissions estimation during the last couple of decades, there is still significant uncertainty. Given the current abundance of new and improved measurements from advanced satellite-borne, airborne, and ground-based instrumentation, as well as the synergy between these and sophisticated computer models, there are greater opportunities to reduce this uncertainty and improve our knowledge of biomass-burning emissions and their impacts. We encourage the submission of new findings on quantifying emissions from biomass burning sources.

Original research or review papers are invited in the following areas:

-         Emission source strength characterization from satellite, airborne, and/or in situ measurements
-         Laboratory and/or field experiments for emission strength characterization
-         Emission factors (for different aerosol and/or trace gas species)
-         Emission inventories (for different aerosol and/or trace gas species)
-         Model parameterization of biomass (burning) emissions
-         Plume-rise, transport, and inverse modeling of smoke plumes
-         Validation of emissions products
-         Other related research

Papers are selected by a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, development and application.

Dr. Charles Ichoku
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • biomass burning
  • biomass/smoke emissions
  • carbon, aerosol, particulate matter (PM), and/or trace gas emissions
  • emission factor
  • emission inventory
  • plume rise modeling
  • remote sensing (ground-based, airborne, satellite)
  • smoke source strength
  • smoke (transport/inverse) modeling
  • validation of emission

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Pre-Harvest Sugarcane Burning: Determination of Emission Factors through Laboratory Measurements
Atmosphere 2012, 3(1), 164-180; doi:10.3390/atmos3010164
Received: 2 January 2012 / Revised: 20 January 2012 / Accepted: 31 January 2012 / Published: 15 February 2012
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (1426 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sugarcane is an important crop for the Brazilian economy and roughly 50% of its production is used to produce ethanol. However, the common practice of pre-harvest burning of sugarcane straw emits particulate material, greenhouse gases, and tropospheric ozone precursors to the atmosphere. Even
[...] Read more.
Sugarcane is an important crop for the Brazilian economy and roughly 50% of its production is used to produce ethanol. However, the common practice of pre-harvest burning of sugarcane straw emits particulate material, greenhouse gases, and tropospheric ozone precursors to the atmosphere. Even with policies to eliminate the practice of pre-harvest sugarcane burning in the near future, there is still significant environmental damage. Thus, the generation of reliable inventories of emissions due to this activity is crucial in order to assess their environmental impact. Nevertheless, the official Brazilian emissions inventory does not presently include the contribution from pre-harvest sugarcane burning. In this context, this work aims to determine sugarcane straw burning emission factors for some trace gases and particulate material smaller than 2.5 μm in the laboratory. Excess mixing ratios for CO2, CO, NOX, UHC (unburned hydrocarbons), and PM2.5 were measured, allowing the estimation of their respective emission factors. Average estimated values for emission factors (g kg−1 of burned dry biomass) were 1,303 ± 218 for CO2, 65 ± 14 for CO, 1.5 ± 0.4 for NOX, 16 ± 6 for UHC, and 2.6 ± 1.6 for PM2.5. These emission factors can be used to generate more realistic emission inventories and therefore improve the results of air quality models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Emissions)
Figures

Open AccessArticle The Impact of Uncertainties in African Biomass Burning Emission Estimates on Modeling Global Air Quality, Long Range Transport and Tropospheric Chemical Lifetimes
Atmosphere 2012, 3(1), 132-163; doi:10.3390/atmos3010132
Received: 25 December 2011 / Revised: 19 January 2012 / Accepted: 19 January 2012 / Published: 9 February 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3698 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The chemical composition of the troposphere in the tropics and Southern Hemisphere (SH) is significantly influenced by gaseous emissions released from African biomass burning (BB). Here we investigate how various emission estimates given in bottom-up BB inventories (GFEDv2, GFEDv3, AMMABB) affect simulations of
[...] Read more.
The chemical composition of the troposphere in the tropics and Southern Hemisphere (SH) is significantly influenced by gaseous emissions released from African biomass burning (BB). Here we investigate how various emission estimates given in bottom-up BB inventories (GFEDv2, GFEDv3, AMMABB) affect simulations of global tropospheric composition using the TM4 chemistry transport model. The application of various model parameterizations for introducing such emissions is also investigated. There are perturbations in near-surface ozone (O3) and carbon monoxide (CO) of ~60–90% in the tropics and ~5–10% in the SH between different inventories. Increasing the update frequency of the temporal distribution to eight days generally results in decreases of between ~5 and 10% in near-surface mixing ratios throughout the tropics, which is larger than the influence of increasing the injection heights at which BB emissions are introduced. There are also associated differences in the long range transport of pollutants throughout the SH, where the composition of the free troposphere in the SH is sensitive to the chosen BB inventory. Analysis of the chemical budget terms reveals that the influence of increasing the tropospheric CO burden due to BB on oxidative capacity of the troposphere is mitigated by the associated increase in NOx emissions (and thus O3) with the variations in the CO/N ratio between inventories being low. For all inventories there is a decrease in the tropospheric chemical lifetime of methane of between 0.4 and 0.8% regardless of the CO emitted from African BB. This has implications for assessing the effect of inter-annual variability in BB on the annual growth rate of methane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Emissions)
Open AccessArticle An Evaluation of Modeled Plume Injection Height with Satellite-Derived Observed Plume Height
Atmosphere 2012, 3(1), 103-123; doi:10.3390/atmos3010103
Received: 14 October 2011 / Revised: 17 December 2011 / Accepted: 6 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Plume injection height influences plume transport characteristics, such as range and potential for dilution. We evaluated plume injection height from a predictive wildland fire smoke transport model over the contiguous United States (U.S.) from 2006 to 2008 using satellite-derived information, including plume top
[...] Read more.
Plume injection height influences plume transport characteristics, such as range and potential for dilution. We evaluated plume injection height from a predictive wildland fire smoke transport model over the contiguous United States (U.S.) from 2006 to 2008 using satellite-derived information, including plume top heights from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) Plume Height Climatology Project and aerosol vertical profiles from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP). While significant geographic variability was found in the comparison between modeled plumes and satellite-detected plumes, modeled plume heights were lower overall. In the eastern U.S., satellite-detected and modeled plume heights were similar (median height 671 and 660 m respectively). Both satellite-derived and modeled plume injection heights were higher in the western U.S. (2345 and 1172 m, respectively). Comparisons of modeled plume injection height to satellite-derived plume height at the fire location (R2 = 0.1) were generally worse than comparisons done downwind of the fire (R2 = 0.22). This suggests that the exact injection height is not as important as placement of the plume in the correct transport layer for transport modeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Emissions)
Open AccessArticle Emission Ratios for Ammonia and Formic Acid and Observations of Peroxy Acetyl Nitrate (PAN) and Ethylene in Biomass Burning Smoke as Seen by the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES)
Atmosphere 2011, 2(4), 633-654; doi:10.3390/atmos2040633
Received: 26 August 2011 / Revised: 22 October 2011 / Accepted: 1 November 2011 / Published: 9 November 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (2840 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We use the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) aboard the NASA Aura satellite to determine the concentrations of the trace gases ammonia (NH3) and formic acid (HCOOH) within boreal biomass burning plumes, and present the first detection of peroxy acetyl nitrate (PAN)
[...] Read more.
We use the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) aboard the NASA Aura satellite to determine the concentrations of the trace gases ammonia (NH3) and formic acid (HCOOH) within boreal biomass burning plumes, and present the first detection of peroxy acetyl nitrate (PAN) and ethylene (C2H4) by TES. We focus on two fresh Canadian plumes observed by TES in the summer of 2008 as part of the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS-B) campaign. We use TES retrievals of NH3 and HCOOH within the smoke plumes to calculate their emission ratios (1.0% ± 0.5% and 0.31% ± 0.21%, respectively) relative to CO for these Canadian fires. The TES derived emission ratios for these gases agree well with previous aircraft and satellite estimates, and can complement ground-based studies that have greater surface sensitivity. We find that TES observes PAN mixing ratios of ~2 ppb within these mid-tropospheric boreal biomass burning plumes when the average cloud optical depth is low ( < 0.1) and that TES can detect C2H4 mixing ratios of ~2 ppb in fresh biomass burning smoke plumes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Emissions)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Emission Ratios of the Tropospheric Ozone Precursors Nitrogen Dioxide and Formaldehyde from Australia’s Black Saturday Fires
Atmosphere 2011, 2(4), 617-632; doi:10.3390/atmos2040617
Received: 5 September 2011 / Revised: 19 October 2011 / Accepted: 19 October 2011 / Published: 31 October 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2929 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ‘Black Saturday’ fires were a series of devastating forest fires that burned across Victoria, Australia, during February and March of 2009. In this study we have used satellite data made publically available by NASA from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and the
[...] Read more.
The ‘Black Saturday’ fires were a series of devastating forest fires that burned across Victoria, Australia, during February and March of 2009. In this study we have used satellite data made publically available by NASA from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and the Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder (AIRS) to track the smoke plume from the Black Saturday firestorm and explore the chemical aging of the smoke plume in the first days after emission. We also determined emission ratios for formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide within smoke from fires actively burning across Victoria between 7 and 17 February 2009. The mean emission ratios with respect to carbon monoxide derived for these two tropospheric ozone precursors are (0.016 ± 0.004 mol.mol−1) for formaldehyde and (0.005 ± 0.002 mol.mol−1) for nitrogen dioxide. The mean emission ratio for formaldehyde with respect to CO is in broad agreement with values previously quoted in the literature for temperate forest fires. However, to our knowledge there are no previous measurements of emission ratios for nitrogen dioxide from Australian temperate forest fires. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Emissions)

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