Non-methane organic gas emissions from biomass burning:; identification, quantification, and emission factors from PTR-ToF during the FIREX 2016 laboratory experiment Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. Volatile and intermediate-volatility non-methane organic gases (NMOGs) released from biomass burning were measured during laboratory-simulated wildfires by proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF). We identified NMOG contributors to more than 150 PTR ion masses using gas chromatography (GC) pre-separation with electron ionization, H3O+ chemical ionization, and NO+ chemical ionziation, an extensive literature review, and time-series correlation, providing higher certainty for ion identifications than has been previously available. Our interpretation of the PTR-ToF mass spectrum accounts for nearly 90 % of NMOG mass detected by PTR-ToF across all fuel types. The relative contributions of different NMOGs to individual exact ion masses are mostly similar across many fires and fuel types. The PTR-ToF measurements are compared to corresponding measurements from open-path Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (OP-FTIR), broadband cavity enhanced spectroscopy (ACES), and iodide ion chemical ionization mass spectrometry (I-CIMS) where possible. The majority of comparisons have slopes near 1 and values of the linear correlation coefficient, R2, of > 0.8, including compounds that are not frequently reported by PTR-MS such as ammonia, hydrogen cyanide (HCN), nitrous acid (HONO), and propene. The exceptions include methylglyoxal and compounds that are known to be difficult to measure with one or more of the deployed instruments. The fire-integrated emission ratios to CO and emission factors of NMOGs from 18 fuel types are provided. Finally, we provide an overview of the chemical characteristics of detected species. Non-aromatic oxygenated compounds are the most abundant. Furans and aromatics, while less abundant, comprise a large portion of the OH reactivity. The OH reactivity, its major contributors, and the volatility distribution of emissions can change considerably over the course of a fire.;

publication date

  • October 17, 2017

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • November 13, 2020 4:26 AM

Full Author List

  • Koss AR; Sekimoto K; Gilman JB; Selimovic V; Coggon MM; Zarzana KJ; Yuan B; Lerner BM; Brown SS; Jimenez JL

author count

  • 15

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