Field measurements of trace gases and aerosols emitted by peat fires in Central...

Stockwell, C. E., T. Jayarathne, M. A. Cochrane, K. C. Ryan, E. I. Putra, B. H. Saharjo, A. D. Nurhayati, I. Albar, D. R. Blake, I. J. Simpson, E. A. Stone, and R. Yokelson (2016), Field measurements of trace gases and aerosols emitted by peat fires in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, during the 2015 El Niño, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 11711-11732, doi:10.5194/acp-16-11711-2016.

Peat fires in Southeast Asia have become a major annual source of trace gases and particles to the regional– global atmosphere. The assessment of their influence on atmospheric chemistry, climate, air quality, and health has been uncertain partly due to a lack of field measurements of the smoke characteristics. During the strong 2015 El Niño event we deployed a mobile smoke sampling team in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan on the island of Borneo and made the first, or rare, field measurements of trace gases, aerosol optical properties, and aerosol mass emissions for authentic peat fires burning at various depths in different peat types. This paper reports the trace gas and aerosol measurements obtained by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, whole air sampling, photoacoustic extinctiometers (405 and 870 nm), and a small subset of the data from analyses of particulate filters. The trace gas measurements provide emission factors (EFs; grams of a compound per kilogram biomass burned) for up to ∼ 90 gases, including CO2 , CO, CH4 , non-methane hydrocarbons up to C10 , 15 oxygenated organic compounds, NH3 , HCN, NOx , OCS, HCl, etc. The modified combustion efficiency (MCE) of the smoke sources ranged from 0.693 to 0.835 with an average of 0.772 ± 0.053 (n = 35), indicating essentially pure smoldering combustion, and the emissions were not initially strongly lofted. The major trace gas emissions by mass (EF as g kg−1 ) were carbon dioxide (1564 ± 77), carbon monoxide (291 ± 49), methane (9.51 ± 4.74), hydrogen cyanide (5.75 ± 1.60), acetic acid (3.89 ± 1.65), ammonia (2.86 ± 1.00), methanol (2.14 ± 1.22), ethane (1.52 ± 0.66), dihydrogen (1.22 ± 1.01), propylene (1.07 ± 0.53), propane (0.989 ± 0.644), ethylene (0.961 ± 0.528), benzene (0.954 ± 0.394), formaldehyde (0.867 ± 0.479), hydroxyacetone (0.860 ± 0.433), furan (0.772 ± 0.035), acetaldehyde (0.697 ± 0.460), and acetone (0.691 ± 0.356). These field data support significant revision of the EFs for CO2 (−8 %), CH4 (−55 %), NH3 (−86 %), CO (+39 %), and other gases compared with widely used recommendations for tropical peat fires based on a lab study of a single sample published in 2003. BTEX compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes) are important air toxics and aerosol precursors and were emitted in total at 1.5 ± 0.6 g kg−1 . Formaldehyde is probably the air toxic gas most likely to cause local exposures that exceed recommended levels. The field results from Kalimantan were in reasonable agreement with recent lab measurements of smoldering Kalimantan peat for “overlap species,” lending importance to the lab finding that burning peat produces large emissions of acetamide, acrolein, methylglyoxal, etc., which were not measurable in

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Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems Program (CCEP)