Organic aerosol mass spectral signatures from wood-burning emissions: Influence of burning conditions and type

S. Weimer, M. R. Alfarra, D. Schreiber, M. Mohr, Andre S H Prévôt, U. Baltensperger

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    Wood-burning for domestic heating purposes is becoming more important owing to the increasing use of wood as a renewable fuel. Particle emissions from residential wood combustion contribute substantially to particulate matter during winter. An Aerodyne quadrupole aerosol mass spectrometer was used to study the variability of the mass spectra of organic aerosol particles emitted from the burning of different wood types as a function of burning conditions and burning technologies. Previously found wood-burning mass fragment markers in ambient air and for levoglucosan such as m/z 60, 73, and 29 were confirmed as a feature of wood-burning aerosol. They were enhanced during the flaming phase and reduced in the smoldering phase when burning was conducted in a small wood stove. The mass spectra during the smoldering phase were dominated by oxygenated species and exhibited a strong resemblance to the mass spectrum of fulvic acid which is used as a model compound for highly oxidized aerosol. A strong resemblance between the mass spectra of fulvic acid and organic particles emitted during wood-burning in an automatic furnace was found. In general, we found larger differences in the mass spectra between flaming and smoldering phases of one wood type than between different wood types within the same phase. Furthermore it was observed that during one experiment where white fir bark was burned the contribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to the total organic matter was very high (∼30%) compared to other wood-burning experiments (0.4 2.2%). Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberD10304
    JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2008


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