Emission Factors for Selected Semivolatile Organic Chemicals from Burning of Tropical Biomass Fuels and Estimation of Annual Australian Emissions
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This study reveals that open-field biomass burning can be an important source of various semivolatile organic chemicals (SVOCs) to the atmosphere including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and a range of pesticides. Emission factors (EFs) for 39 individual SVOCs are determined from burning of various fuel types that are common in tropical Australia. Emissions of PAHs are found to be sensitive to differences in combustion efficiencies rather than fuel types, reflecting a de novo formation mechanism. In contrast, revolatilization may be important for other SVOCs such as PCBs. On the basis of the EFs determined in this work, estimates of the annual emissions of these SVOCs from Australian bushfires/wildfires are achieved, including, for example, ∑PAHs (160 (min)–1100 (max) Mg), ∑PCBs (14–300 kg), ∑PBDEs (8.8–590 kg), α-endosulfan (6.5–200 kg), and chlorpyrifos (up to 1400 kg), as well as dioxin toxic equivalents (TEQs) of ∑dioxin-like-PCBs (0.018–1.4 g). Emissions of SVOCs that are predominantly revolatilized appear to be related to their use history, with higher emissions estimated for chemicals that had a greater historical usage and were banned only recently or are still in use.
Environmental Science & Technology
Environmental Chemistry (incl. Atmospheric Chemistry)