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Characterization of organic aerosols emitted from the combustion of biomass indigenous to South Asia



Throughout South Asia biomass is commonly used as a fuel source for cooking and heating homes. The smoke from domestic use of these fuels is expected to be a major source of atmospheric particulate matter in the region and needs to be characterized for input in regional source apportionment models and global climate models. Biomass fuel samples including coconut leaves, rice straw, jackfruit branches, dried cowdung patties, and biomass briquettes manufactured from compressed biomass material were obtained from Bangladesh. The fuel samples were burned in a wood stove to collect and characterize the particulate matter emissions. The bulk chemical composition including total organic and elemental carbon, sulfate, nitrate, ammonium and chloride ions, and bulk elements such as potassium and sodium did not show conclusive differences among the biomass samples tested. Unique features, however, exist in the detailed organic characterization of the combustion smoke from the different sources. The organic compound fingerprints of the particulate matter are shown to be distinct from one another and distinct from North American wood fuels. Fecal stanols including 5b-stigmastanol, coprostanol, and cholestanol are found to be good molecular markers for the combustion of cowdung. Additionally, the patterns of methoxyphenols and plant sterols provide a unique signature for each biomass sample and are conducive as source apportionment tracers

Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1029/2002JD002981
OAI identifier:
Provided by: ScholarsArchive@OSU
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