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Published May 1, 2001 | public
Journal Article

Measurement of Emissions from Air Pollution Sources. 3. C_1−C_(29) Organic Compounds from Fireplace Combustion of Wood


Organic compound emission rates for volatile organic compounds (VOC), gas-phase semivolatile organic compounds, and particle-phase organic compounds are measured from residential fireplace combustion of wood. Firewood from a conifer tree (pine) and from two deciduous trees (oak and eucalyptus) is burned to determine organic compound emissions profiles for each wood type including the distribution of the alkanes, alkenes, aromatics, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), phenol and substituted phenols, guaiacol and substituted guaiacols, syringol and substituted syringols, carbonyls, alkanoic acids, resin acids, and levoglucosan. Levoglucosan is the major constituent in the fine particulate emissions from all three wood types, contributing 18−30% of the fine particulate organic compound emissions. Guaiacol (2-methoxyphenol), and guaiacols with additional substituents at position 4 on the molecule, and resin acids are emitted in significant quantities from pine wood combustion. Syringol (2,6-dimethoxyphenol) and syringols with additional substituents at position 4 on the molecule are emitted in large amounts from oak and eucalyptus firewood combustion, but these compounds are not detected in the emissions from pine wood combustion. Syringol and most of the substituted syringols are found to be semivolatile compounds that are present in both the gas and particle phases, but two substituted syringols that have not been previously quantified in wood smoke emissions, propionylsyringol and butyrylsyringol, are found exclusively in the particle phase and can be used to help trace hardwood smoke particles in the atmosphere. Benzene, ethene, and acetylene are often used as tracers for motor vehicle exhaust in the urban atmosphere. The contribution of wood smoke to the ambient concentrations of benzene, ethene, and acetylene could lead to an overestimate of the contribution of motor vehicle tailpipe exhaust to atmospheric VOC concentrations.

Additional Information

© 2001 American Chemical Society. Received for review June 6, 2000. Revised manuscript received January 2, 2001. Accepted January 8, 2001. We thank Eric Grosjean and Daniel Grosjean (DGA, Inc.) for preparation and analysis of the C18 cartridges used for carbonyls, Rei Rasmussen (Oregon Graduate Institute) for preparation and analysis of the SUMA canisters used for measurement of C10 and smaller vapor-phase hydrocarbons, Judy Chow and Cliff Frazier (Desert Research Institute) for X-ray fluorescence measurements, Bob Cary (Sunset Labs) for EC/OC measurements, and Lynn Salmon (Caltech) for conducting the ion chromatography and atomic absorption spectroscopy analyses. This research was supported by the California Air Resources Board under Agreement A93-329.

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