skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Biomass Burning Research Using DOE ARM Single-Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) Field Campaign Report

Abstract

The focus of this laboratory study was to investigate the chemical and optical properties, and the detection efficiencies, of tar balls generated in the laboratory using the same instruments deployed on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility Gulfstream-1 (G-1) aircraft during the 2013 Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP) field study, during which tar balls were observed in wildland biomass burning particulate emissions. Key goals of this laboratory study were: (a) measuring the chemical composition of tar balls to provide insights into the atmospheric processes that form (evaporation/oxidation) and modify them in biomass burning plumes, (b) identifying whether tar balls contain refractory black carbon, (c) determining the collection efficiencies of tar balls impacting on the 600oC heated tungsten vaporizer in the Aerodyne Soot Particle Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (SP-AMS) (i.e., given the observed low volatilities, AMS measurements might underestimate organic biomass burning plume loadings), and (d) measuring the wavelength-dependent, mass-specific absorption cross-sections of brown carbon components of tar balls. This project was funded primarily by the DOE Atmospheric System Research (ASR) program, and the ARM Facility made their single-particle soot photometer (SP2) available for September 1-September 31, 2016 in the Aerodyne laboratories. The ARM mentormore » (Dr. Sedlacek) requested no funds for mentorship or data reduction. All ARM SP2 data collected as part of this project are archived in the ARM Data Archive in accordance with established protocols. The main objectives of the ARM Biomass Burning Observation Period (BBOP, July-October, 2013) field campaign were to (1) assess the impact of wildland fires in the Pacific Northwest on climate, through near-field and regional intensive measurement campaigns, and (2) investigate agricultural burns to determine how those biomass burn plumes differ from those from wildland fires. During BBOP, tar balls, small solid particles of organic substances, were observed downwind from wildland fires (at plume ages of 0-3 hours), but not agricultural burns. Observations of the tar balls on transmission electron microscope (TEM) grids suggest that they formed during atmospheric transport, likely due to the same atmospheric processes that increased the oxidation levels of the organic aerosol. Preliminary analyses suggest that tar balls may account for almost 50% of the total particle number, and 30% of the total organic particle mass, of the aerosol emitted from the burning events. These BBOP observations are described in detail in a manuscript in preparation (Sedlacek et al., 2017). The current laboratory study lasted four weeks and was conducted in the aerosol laboratories located at Aerodyne Research, Inc. in Billerica, Massachusetts. Tar balls were generated from several different biomass fuels, including samples from BBOP-related field sites, following literature procedures (Hoffer, Tóth, Nyirö-Kósa, Pósfai, and Gelencsér, 2016; Tóth, Hoffer, Nyirö-Kósa, Pósfai, and Gelencsér, 2014), and they were characterized using the same equipment used during the 2013 BBOP study, specifically the SP-AMS, SP2 and TEM. This study determined that laboratory-generated tar balls (1) are refractory with respect to TEM analysis in a similar manner to those collected during BBOP from wildland fires, (2) are composed of organic material with some refractory carbon components, (3) can be measured quantitatively by the SP-AMS, strengthening observations during BBOP, (4) absorb visible light, and (4) are dominated by unsaturated hydrocarbons that may be responsible for their light-absorbing properties. The results from this project are already being incorporated into our analysis of the formation processes and emission rates of tar balls as a function of fuel and combustion conditions from wildland fires.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, MA (United States)
  2. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
DOE Office of Science Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Contributing Org.:
c.
OSTI Identifier:
1347112
Report Number(s):
DOE/SC-ARM-17-007
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-7601830
Resource Type:
Program Document
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
tar balls; biomass burning; single-particle soot photometer; refractory black carbon; TEM analysis; pyrolysis; scanning mobility particle sizer; Aerodyne Soot Particle Aerosol Mass Spectrometer; Biomass Burning Observation Project

Citation Formats

Onasch, Timothy B, Sedlacek, Arthur J, and Lewis, Ernie. Biomass Burning Research Using DOE ARM Single-Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) Field Campaign Report. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Onasch, Timothy B, Sedlacek, Arthur J, & Lewis, Ernie. Biomass Burning Research Using DOE ARM Single-Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) Field Campaign Report. United States.
Onasch, Timothy B, Sedlacek, Arthur J, and Lewis, Ernie. Wed . "Biomass Burning Research Using DOE ARM Single-Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) Field Campaign Report". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1347112.
@article{osti_1347112,
title = {Biomass Burning Research Using DOE ARM Single-Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) Field Campaign Report},
author = {Onasch, Timothy B and Sedlacek, Arthur J and Lewis, Ernie},
abstractNote = {The focus of this laboratory study was to investigate the chemical and optical properties, and the detection efficiencies, of tar balls generated in the laboratory using the same instruments deployed on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility Gulfstream-1 (G-1) aircraft during the 2013 Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP) field study, during which tar balls were observed in wildland biomass burning particulate emissions. Key goals of this laboratory study were: (a) measuring the chemical composition of tar balls to provide insights into the atmospheric processes that form (evaporation/oxidation) and modify them in biomass burning plumes, (b) identifying whether tar balls contain refractory black carbon, (c) determining the collection efficiencies of tar balls impacting on the 600oC heated tungsten vaporizer in the Aerodyne Soot Particle Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (SP-AMS) (i.e., given the observed low volatilities, AMS measurements might underestimate organic biomass burning plume loadings), and (d) measuring the wavelength-dependent, mass-specific absorption cross-sections of brown carbon components of tar balls. This project was funded primarily by the DOE Atmospheric System Research (ASR) program, and the ARM Facility made their single-particle soot photometer (SP2) available for September 1-September 31, 2016 in the Aerodyne laboratories. The ARM mentor (Dr. Sedlacek) requested no funds for mentorship or data reduction. All ARM SP2 data collected as part of this project are archived in the ARM Data Archive in accordance with established protocols. The main objectives of the ARM Biomass Burning Observation Period (BBOP, July-October, 2013) field campaign were to (1) assess the impact of wildland fires in the Pacific Northwest on climate, through near-field and regional intensive measurement campaigns, and (2) investigate agricultural burns to determine how those biomass burn plumes differ from those from wildland fires. During BBOP, tar balls, small solid particles of organic substances, were observed downwind from wildland fires (at plume ages of 0-3 hours), but not agricultural burns. Observations of the tar balls on transmission electron microscope (TEM) grids suggest that they formed during atmospheric transport, likely due to the same atmospheric processes that increased the oxidation levels of the organic aerosol. Preliminary analyses suggest that tar balls may account for almost 50% of the total particle number, and 30% of the total organic particle mass, of the aerosol emitted from the burning events. These BBOP observations are described in detail in a manuscript in preparation (Sedlacek et al., 2017). The current laboratory study lasted four weeks and was conducted in the aerosol laboratories located at Aerodyne Research, Inc. in Billerica, Massachusetts. Tar balls were generated from several different biomass fuels, including samples from BBOP-related field sites, following literature procedures (Hoffer, Tóth, Nyirö-Kósa, Pósfai, and Gelencsér, 2016; Tóth, Hoffer, Nyirö-Kósa, Pósfai, and Gelencsér, 2014), and they were characterized using the same equipment used during the 2013 BBOP study, specifically the SP-AMS, SP2 and TEM. This study determined that laboratory-generated tar balls (1) are refractory with respect to TEM analysis in a similar manner to those collected during BBOP from wildland fires, (2) are composed of organic material with some refractory carbon components, (3) can be measured quantitatively by the SP-AMS, strengthening observations during BBOP, (4) absorb visible light, and (4) are dominated by unsaturated hydrocarbons that may be responsible for their light-absorbing properties. The results from this project are already being incorporated into our analysis of the formation processes and emission rates of tar balls as a function of fuel and combustion conditions from wildland fires.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Program Document:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that may hold this item.

Save / Share:
  • The scientific focus of this study was to investigate and quantify the mass loadings, chemical compositions, and optical properties of biomass burning particulate emissions generated in the laboratory from Western U.S. fuels using a similar instrument suite to the one deployed on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility Gulfstream-1 (G-1) aircraft during the 2013 Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP) field study (Kleinman and Sedlacek, 2013). We deployed the single-particle soot photometer (SP2) to make measurements of biomass burning refractory black carbon (rBC) mass loadings and size distributions to correlate with non-refractory particulate mattermore » (NR-PM; i.e., HR-AMS) and rBC (SP-AMS) measurements as a function of photo-oxidation processes in an environmental chamber. With these measurements, we will address the following scientific questions: 1. What are the emission indices (g/kg fuel) of rBC from various wildland fuels from the Pacific Northwest (i.e., relevant to BBOP analysis) as a function of combustion conditions and simulated atmospheric processing in an environmental chamber? 2. What are the optical properties (e.g., mass-specific absorption cross-section [MAC], single-scattering albedo [SSA], and absorption Angstrom exponent [AAE)] of rBC emitted from various wildland fuels and how are they impacted by atmospheric processing? 3. How does the mixing state of rBC in biomass-burning plumes relate to the optical properties? 4. How does the emitted rBC affect radiative forcing?« less
  • One of the major issues confronting aerosol climate simulations of the Arctic and Antarctic cryospheres is the lack of detailed data on the vertical and spatial distribution of aerosols with which to test these models. This is due, in part, to the inherent difficulty of conducting such measurements in extreme environments. However given the pronounced sensitivity of the polar regions to radiative balance perturbations, it is incumbent upon our community to better understand and quantify these perturbations, and their unique feedbacks, so that robust model predictions of this region can be realized. One class of under-measured radiative forcing agents inmore » the polar region is the absorbing aerosol—black carbon and brown carbon. Black carbon (BC; also referred to as light-absorbing carbon [LAC], refractory black carbon [rBC], and soot) is second only to CO2 as a positive forcing agent. Roughly 60% of BC emissions can be attributed to anthropogenic sources (fossil fuel combustion and open-pit cooking), with the remaining fraction being due to biomass burning. Brown carbon (BrC), a major component of biomass burning, collectively refers to non-BC carbonaceous aerosols that typically possess minimal light absorption at visible wavelengths but exhibit pronounced light absorption in the near-ultraviolet (UV) spectrum. Both species can be sourced locally or be remotely transported to the Arctic region and are expected to perturb the radiative balance. The work conducted in this field campaign addresses one of the more glaring deficiencies currently limiting improved quantification of the impact of BC radiative forcing in the cryosphere: the paucity of data on the vertical and spatial distributions of BC. By expanding the Gulfstream aircraft (G-1) payload for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility-sponsored ACME-V campaign to include the Single-Particle Soot Photometer (SP2)) and leveraging the ACME-V campaign’s deployment within the Arctic Circle during the summer of 2015 (Deadhorse, Alaska [70° 12' 20" N, 148° 30' 42" W]), the truly unique opportunity presented itself to acquire profile data on BC loading at little additional cost. Since the SP2 is a particle-resolved measurement, the resulting data set provides refractory black carbon (rBC) mass loadings, size and mass distributions, and rBC-containing particle mixing state, all of which are expected to readily find value in the modeling community. As part of the ACME-V (http://www.arm.gov/campaigns/aaf2014armacmev) campaign, CO, CO2, and CH4 were also measured, providing the unique opportunity for carbon closure. We will also work closely with modelers who require such data and expect this collaboration will lead directly to a better understanding of the climate impacts of BC in the Arctic. The primary measurement objective was to acquire airborne data on the vertical and spatial distributions of refractory black carbon (rBC) loading, size and mass distribution, and particle mixing state. The primary scientific objective was to provide a targeted data set of rBC particle distributions to better understand and constrain the impact of black carbon radiative forcing in the cryosphere. The SP2-based data set during this campaign is available in the DOE-ARM archive (http://www.arm.gov/campaigns/aaf2015abclp).« less
  • An important source of uncertainty in radiative forcing by absorbing aerosol particles is the uncertainty in their morphologies (i.e., the location of the absorbing substance on/in the particles). To examine the effects of particle morphology on the response of an individual black carbon-containing particle in a Single-Particle Soot Photometer (SP2), a series of experiments was conducted to investigate black carbon-containing particles of known morphology using Regal black (RB), a proxy for collapsed soot, as the light-absorbing substance. Particles were formed by coagulation of RB with either a solid substance (sodium chloride or ammonium sulfate) or a liquid substance (dioctyl sebacate),more » and by condensation with dioctyl sebacate, the latter experiment forming particles in a core-shell configuration. Each particle type experienced fragmentation (observed as negative lagtimes), and each yielded similar lagtime responses in some instances, confounding attempts to differentiate particle morphology using current SP2 lagtime analysis. SP2 operating conditions, specifically laser power and sample flow rate, which in turn affect the particle heating and dissipation rates, play an important role in the behavior of particles in the SP2, including probability of fragmentation. This behavior also depended on the morphology of the particles and on the thermo-chemical properties of the non-RB substance. Although these influences cannot currently be unambiguously separated, the SP2 analysis may still provide useful information on particle mixing states and black carbon particle sources.« less
  • The SP2 is an instrument that measures, in situ, the time-dependent scattering and incandescence signals produced by individual BC-containing particles as they travel through a continuous-wave laser beam. Any particle traversing the laser beam will scatter light, and the BC component of a BC-containing particle will absorb some of the laser energy until its temperature is raised to the point at which it incandesces (hereafter we adopt the standard terminology of the SP2 community and denote any substance determined by the SP2 to be BC as refractory black carbon (rBC)). The amplitude of the rBC incandescence signal is related tomore » the amount of refractory material contained in the illuminated particle. By binning the individual incandescence signals per unit sample volume, the mass concentration [ng/m3] of rBC can be derived. By binning the individual signals by volume equivalent diameter the size distribution (dN/dlogDVED) per unit time can be derived. The rBC mass loading per unit time and the rBC size distribution unit time are the core data products produced by the SP2. Additionally, the scattering channel can be used to provide information on the rBC particle population-based mixing states within ambient aerosols. However, this data product is produced on a requested-basis since additional detailed analysis and QC/QA must be conducted.« less
  • The SP2 provides information on the amounts of rBC (refractory black carbon) and of other, non-refractory substances associated with individual rBC containing particles by simultaneously measuring the scattering and incandescence signals of such particles that are directed through the cavity of a 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser. (refractory Black Carbon) rBC mixing ratio (ng/Kg) and number size distribution time series collected during the DOE-ARM sponsored ACME-V field campaign held from June 1 to September 15, 2015 rBC mixing ratio is reported at STP conditions Time resolution: 10 sec Uncertainty: ~ 30% SP2 Unit: 25 Location: Deadhorse, AK Location: N 70-degree 11'more » 41'' - W 148-degress. 27' 55'' SP2_dateTime: UTC rBC concentration is in units of ng/Kg - dry air. Mass Equivalent Diameters [MED] used for size distribution (SP2_min; SP2_geo; and SP2_max) are in units of micrometers dN/dlogDp counts for a given size bin (SP2_geo) listed as 'SP2_cnts_0 - SP2_cnts_199' and are in units of #/cc. Column naming convention: 'SP2_cnts_X' are the number of particles in bin number _X. , where _X is the row number within the 'SP2_geo' size bin column that contains the mass equivalent diameter (e.g., SP2_cnts_0 = 0.01 microns; SP2_cnts_10 = 0.060 microns, etc.). The dN/dlogDp data is time-resolved where a given row is associated with the timestamp for that row. Note that the rBC column length is one field shorter than the SP2_datetime column. Last time field is not relevant to the rBC time series (see comment below on length of SP2_datetime column) Lengths for SP2_max; SP2_min; SP2_geo are one field longer then the number of SP2_cnts_XX columns . This is to provide bounds for image plots (if desired). Length for SP2_datetime is one field longer than that length of the SP2_cnts_XX columns This is to provide bounds for image plots (if desired) SP2 Calibration: Fullerene soot with corrrection applied for particle density as a function of particle size. No correction for OC content in Fullerene (recent study on SP2 sensitivity to differing black carbon types reports that non-refractory material content for fullerene soot is about 20%).« less