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Abstract - Organic aerosol (OA) emission ratios (ER) have been characterized for 67 burns during the second Fire Laboratory at Missoula Experiment. These fires involved 19 different species representing 6 major fuels, each of which forms an important contribution to the U.S. biomass burning inventory. Average normalized μOA/μCO ratios show a high degree of variability, both between and within different fuel types and species, typically exceeding differen-ces between separate plumes in ambient measurements. This variability is strongly influenced by highly contrasting μOA levels between burns and the increased partitioning of semivolatile organic compounds to the particle phase at high μOA concentrations. No correlation across all fires was observed between μOA/μCO and modified combustion efficiency (MCE), which acts as an indicator of the proportional contributions of flaming and smoldering combustion phases throughout each burn. However, a negative correlation exists with MCE for some coniferous species, most notably Douglas fir, for which there is also an influence from fuel moisture content. Changes in fire efficiency were also shown to dramatically alter emissions for fires with very similar initial conditions. Although the relationship with MCE is variable between species, there is greater consistency with the level of oxygenation in OA. The ratio of the m/z 44 fragment to total OA mass concentration (f44) as measured by aerosol mass spectrometer provides an indication of oxygenation as influenced by combustion processes at source, with μOA/μCO decreasing with increasing f44 for all fuel types. Inconsistencies in the magnitude of the effects associated with each potential influence on μOA/μCO emphasize the lack of a single dominant control on fire emissions, and a dependency on both fuel properties and combustion conditions.
Jolleys, M. D., H. Coe, G. McFiggans, G. R. McMeeking, T. Lee, S. M. Kreidenweis, J. L. Collett Jr., & A. P. Sullivan (2014) Organic aerosol emission ratios from the laboratory combustion of biomass fuels, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH: ATMOSPHERES 119(22):12,850–12,871.