David R. Weise, Timothy J. Johnson, Tanya L. Myers, Wei Min Hao, Stephen P. Baker, Javier Palarea‐Albaladejo, Nicole K. Scharko, Ashley M. Bradley, Catherine A. Banach, Russell G. Tonkyn
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Prescribed Fire-use treatments
Fire & Smoke Models
Smoke Emissions

NRFSN number: 25253
FRAMES RCS Number: 67391
Record updated: February 2, 2023

Background: Fire models use pyrolysis data from ground samples and environments that differ from wildland conditions. Two analytical methods successfully measured oxidative pyrolysis gases in wind tunnel and field fires: Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and gas chromatography with flame-ionisation detector (GC-FID). Compositional data require appropriate statistical analysis.

Aims: To determine if oxidative pyrolysis gas composition differed between analytical methods and locations (wind tunnel and field).

Methods: Oxidative pyrolysis gas sample composition collected in wind tunnel and prescribed fires was determined by FTIR and GC/FID. Proportionality between gases was tested. Analytical method and location effects on composition were tested using permutational multivariate analysis of variance and the Kruskal–Wallis test.

Key results: Gases proportional to each other were identified. The FTIR composition differed between locations. The subcomposition of common gases differed between analytical methods but not between locations. Relative amount of the primary fuel gases (CO, CH4) was not significantly affected by location.

Conclusions: Composition of trace gases differed between the analytical methods; however, each method yielded a comparable description of the primary fuel gases.

Implications: Both FTIR and GC/FID methods can be used to quantify primary pyrolysis fuel gases for physically-based fire models. Importance of the trace gases in combustion models remains to be determined.


Weise, David R.; Johnson, Timothy J.; Myers, Tanya L.; Hao, Wei Min; Baker, Stephen; Palarea-Albaladejo, Javier; Scharko, Nicole K.; Bradley, Ashley M.; Banach, Catherine A.; Tonkyn, Russell G. 2023. Comparing two methods to measure oxidative pyrolysis gases in a wind tunnel and in prescribed burns. International Journal of Wildland Fire 32(1):56-77.

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