Skip to Main Content
Brown carbon in tar balls from smoldering biomass combustionAuthor(s): R. K. Chakrabarty; H. Moosmuller; L.-W. A. Chen; K. Lewis; W. P. Arnott; C. Mazzoleni; M. K. Dubey; C. E. Wold; W. M. Hao; S. M. Kreidenweis
Source: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 10: 6363-6370.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Download Publication (596.6 KB)
DescriptionWe report the direct observation of laboratory production of spherical, carbonaceous particles - "tar balls" - from smoldering combustion of two commonly occurring dry mid-latitude fuels. Real-time measurements of spectrally varying absorption Angstrom coefficients (AAC) indicate that a class of light absorbing organic carbon (OC) with wavelength dependent imaginary part of its refractive index - optically defined as "brown carbon" - is an important component of tar balls. The spectrum of the imaginary parts of their complex refractive indices can be described with a Lorentzian-like model with an effective resonance wavelength in the ultraviolet (UV) spectral region. Sensitivity calculations for aerosols containing traditional OC (no absorption at visible and UV wavelengths) and brown carbon suggest that accounting for near-UV absorption by brown carbon leads to an increase in aerosol radiative forcing efficiency and increased light absorption. Since particles from smoldering combustion account for nearly three-fourths of the total carbonaceous aerosol mass emitted globally, inclusion of the optical properties of tar balls into radiative forcing models has significance for the Earth's radiation budget, optical remote sensing, and understanding of anomalous UV absorption in the troposphere.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationChakrabarty, R. K.; Moosmuller, H.; Chen, L.-W. A.; Lewis, K. ; Arnott, W. P.; Mazzoleni, C.; Dubey, M. K.; Wold, C. E.; Hao, W. M.; Kreidenweis, S. M. 2010. Brown carbon in tar balls from smoldering biomass combustion. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 10: 6363-6370.
Keywordsbrown carbon, tar balls, UV absorption
- Brown carbon aerosols from burning of boreal peatlands: microphysical properties, emission factors, and implications for direct radiative forcing
- Investigation of black and brown carbon multiple-wavelength-dependent light absorption from biomass and fossil fuel combustion source emissions
- Measuring light absorption by freshly emitted organic aerosols: Optical artifacts in traditional solvent-extraction-based methods
XML: View XML