Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published May 13, 2003 | Published
Journal Article Open

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 5β-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.

Additional Information

© 2003 by the American Geophysical Union. Received 24 September 2002; Revised 2 December 2002; Accepted 5 March 2003; Published 13 May 2003. This material is based upon work supported under a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship.

Attached Files

Published - jgrd10241.pdf


Files (1.1 MB)
Name Size Download all
1.1 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 18, 2023