Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Chemistry

Committee Chair

Robert Yokelson

Commitee Members

Anna Klene, Christopher Palmer


biomass burning, emission factors


University of Montana


Biomass burning (BB) is the second largest source of trace gases and the largest source of primary fine carbonaceous particles in the global troposphere. Many recent BB studies have provided new emission factor (EF) measurements for non-methane organic compounds (NMOC), which are highly reactive and can influence secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and ozone formation. New EF should improve the input for atmospheric models along with regional-global BB emissions estimates. We present an up-to-date, comprehensive tabulation of EF for known pyrogenic species based on measurements made in smoke that has not yet undergone significant photochemical processing. All EFs are converted to one standard form (grams of compound emitted per kg dry biomass burned) and are categorized into 14 fuel or vegetation types. Post emission processes are discussed, highlighting the potential for rapid photochemical changes in smoke to occur; changes which are often difficult for some models and remote sensing products to detect and/or quantify. Emission factors reported in this work are currently being used in atmospheric models such as the Fire Inventory from NCAR (FINN) model. We also provide an in-depth analysis of a California chaparral fire from the San Luis Obispo Biomass Burning (SLOBB) campaign. This study provided the best plume-aging measurements collected from temperate fuels to date. Results from the Williams Fire in conjunction with other previous works suggest that plume aging drastically alters the photochemistry of biomass burning smoke, affecting areas both close to the source and downwind. Continued effort to measure and model emissions from wild and prescribed fires will improve our understanding of the biomass burning impact on the local-global environment.

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© Copyright 2011 Sheryl Kashi Akagi