Earlier work showed that Amazonian biomass burning produces both lofted and initially unlofted emissions in large amounts. A mobile, Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) measured the unlofted emissions of 17 trace gases from residual smoldering combustion (RSC) of logs as part of the Tropical Forest and Fire Emissions Experiment (TROFFEE) during the 2004 Amazonian dry season. The RSC emissions were highly variable and the few earlier RSC measurements lay near the high end of combustion efficiency observed in this study. Fuel consumption by RSC was ∼5% of total for a planned deforestation fire. Much regional RSC probably occurs in the residual woody debris burned during pasture maintenance fires. RSC could increase estimated total fire emissions for the Amazon region by 20–50% for several important VOC. FTIR emissions measurements of burning dung (in a pasture) showed high emission ratios foracetic acid and ammonia to CO (6.6 ± 3.4% and 8.9 ± 2.1%). Large emissions of nitrogen containing trace gases from burning dung and crop waste could mean that biomass burning in India produces more particle mass than previously assumed. Measurements of late-stage kiln emissions suggested that VOC/CO may increase as carbonization is extended. A cook stove emitted many VOC and NH3 far outside the range observed for open wood cooking fires. Enclosed/vented cooking stoves may change the chemistry of the smoke that is emitted.
The FireFlux II experiment was conducted in a tall grass prairie located in south-east Texas on 30 January 2013 under a regional burn ban and high fire danger conditions. The goal of the experiment was to better understand micrometeorological aspects of fire spread. The experimental design was guided by the use of a coupled fire–atmosphere model that predicted the fire spread in advance. Preliminary results show that after ignition, a surface pressure perturbation formed and strengthened as the fire front and plume developed, causing an increase in wind velocity at the fire front. The fire-induced winds advected hot combustion gases forward and downwind of the fire front that resulted in acceleration of air through the flame front. Overall, the experiment collected a large set of micrometeorological, air chemistry and fire behaviour data that may provide a comprehensive dataset for evaluating and testing coupled fire–atmosphere model systems.
Crop residue burning is a common land management practice that results in emissions of a variety of pollutants with negative health impacts. Modeling systems are used to estimate air quality impacts of crop residue burning to support retrospective regulatory assessments and also for forecasting purposes. Ground and airborne measurements from a recent field experiment in the Pacific Northwest focused on cropland residue burning was used to evaluate model performance in capturing surface and aloft impacts from the burning events. The Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model was used to simulate multiple crop residue burns with 2 km grid spacing using field-specific information and also more general assumptions traditionally used to support National Emission Inventory based assessments. Field study specific information, which includes area burned, fuel consumption, and combustion completeness, resulted in increased biomass consumption by 123 tons (60% increase) on average compared to consumption estimated with default methods in the National Emission Inventory (NEI) process. Buoyancy heat flux, a key parameter for model predicted fire plume rise, estimated from fuel loading obtained from field measurements can be 30% to 200% more than when estimated using default field information. The increased buoyancy heat flux resulted in higher plume rise by 30% to 80%. This evaluation indicates that the regulatory air quality modeling system can replicate intensity and transport (horizontal and vertical) features for crop residue burning in this region when region-specific information is used to inform emissions and plume rise calculations. Further, previous vertical emissions allocation treatment of putting all cropland residue burning in the surface layer does not compare well with measured plume structure and these types of burns should be modeled more similarly to prescribed fires such that plume rise is based on an estimate of buoyancy.