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Emissions from prescribed burning of timber slash piles in Oregon

Author(s): Johanna Aurell, Brian K. Gullett, Dennis Tabor, Nick Yonker
Year Published: 2016

Emissions from burning piles of post-harvest timber slash (Douglas-fir) in Grande Ronde, Oregon were sampled using an instrument platform lofted into the plume using a tether-controlled aerostat or balloon. Emissions of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon, ultraviolet absorbing PM, elemental/organic carbon, filter-based metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated dibenzodioxins/dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were sampled to determine emission factors, the amount of pollutant formed per amount of biomass burned. The effect on emissions from covering the piles with polyethylene (PE) sheets to prevent fuel wetting versus uncovered piles was also determined. Results showed that the uncovered (“wet”) piles burned with lower combustion efficiency and higher emission factors for VOCs, PM2.5, PCDD/PCDF, and PAHs. Removal of the PE prior to ignition, variation of PE size, and changing PE thickness resulted in no statistical distinction between emissions. Results suggest that dry piles, whether covered with PE or not, exhibited statistically significant lower emissions than wet piles due to better combustion efficiency.

Citation: Aurell, J.; Gullett, B.K.; Tabor, D.; Yonker, N. 2016. Emissions from prescribed burning of timber slash piles in Oregon. Atmospheric Environment. 150: 395-406.
Topic(s): Fuels, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Prescribed Fire-use treatments, Smoke & Air Quality, Smoke Emissions
Ecosystem(s): Montane wet mixed-conifer forest, Montane dry mixed-conifer forest
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 14886
Record updated: Jun 28, 2018