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Zonal-based emission source term model for predicting particulate emission factors in wildfire simulations

Author(s): Alexander J. Josephson, Daniel Castaño, Eunmo Koo, Rodman Linn
Year Published: 2021

A physics/chemistry-based numerical model for predicting the emission of fine particles from wildfires is proposed. This model implements the fundamental mechanisms of soot formation in a combustion environment: soot nucleation, surface growth, agglomeration, oxidation, and particle fragmentation. These mechanisms occur on a scale too fine for the discretization of most wildfire models, which need to simulate landscape-scale dynamics. As a result this model implements a zonal approach, where the computed soot particle distribution is partitioned into process zones within a single resolved grid cell. These process zones include: an inception zone (for nucleation), a heating zone (for coagulation, surface growth, and fragmentation), a reaction zone (for oxidation), and a quenched zone (for atmospheric processes). Governing mechanisms are applied to the appropriate zones to predict total particle growth and emission. The proposed model is implemented into HIGRAD/FIRETEC, a physics-based wildfire simulation code which couples interactions between fire, fuels, atmosphere, and topography on a landscape scale. Fire simulations among grasslands and conifer forests are performed and compared against experimental data for emission factors.

Citation: Josephson, Alexander J.; Castaño, Daniel; Koo, Eunmo; Linn, Rodman R. 2021. Zonal-based emission source term model for predicting particulate emission factors in wildfire simulations. Fire Technology 57(2):943-971.
Topic(s): Smoke & Air Quality, Smoke Emissions, Smoke Emissions and Inventory
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 22914
FRAMES RCS number: 61743
Record updated: Apr 7, 2021