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Title: Laboratory studies of fresh and aged biomass burning aerosol emitted from east African biomass fuels – Part 1: Optical properties
Abstract. An accurate measurement of the optical properties of aerosol is critical for quantifying the effect of aerosol on climate. Uncertainties persist and results of measurements vary significantly. Biomass burning (BB) aerosol has been extensively studied through both field and laboratory environments for North American fuels to understand the changes in opticaland chemical properties as a function of aging. There is a need for a widersampling of fuels from different regions of the world for laboratory studies. This work represents the first such study of the optical andchemical properties of wood fuel samples commonly used for domestic purposes ineast Africa. In general, combustion temperature or modified combustionefficiency (MCE) plays a major role in the optical properties of the emitted aerosol. For fuels combusted with MCE of 0.974±0.015, which is referred to as flaming-dominated combustion, the single-scattering albedo (SSA) values were in the range of 0.287 to 0.439, while for fuels combusted with MCE of 0.878±0.008, which is referred to as smoldering-dominated combustion, the SSA values were in the range of 0.66 to 0.769. There is a clear but very small dependence of SSA on fuel type. A significant increase in the scattering and extinction cross section (with no significant change inabsorption cross section) was observed, indicating the occurrence of chemistry, even during dark aging for smoldering-dominated combustion. Thisfact cannot be explained by heterogeneous oxidation in the particle phase,and we hypothesize that secondary organic aerosol formation is potentiallyhappening during dark aging. After 12 h of photochemical aging, BB aerosolbecomes highly scattering with SSA values above 0.9, which can be attributedto oxidation in the chamber. Aging studies of aerosol from flaming-dominatedcombustion were inconclusive due to the very low aerosol number concentration. We also attempted to simulate polluted urban environments byinjecting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and BB aerosol into the chamber, but no distinct difference was observed when compared to photochemical aging in the absence of VOCs.  more » « less
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Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
10149 to 10168
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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