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Title: Volume changes upon heating of aerosol particles from biomass burning using transmission electron microscopy

Here, the responses of aerosol particles to heating are important for measurements of their chemical, physical, and optical properties, classification, and determination of origin. However, the thermal behavior of organic aerosol particles is largely unknown. We provide a method to analyze such thermal behavior through heating from room temperature to >600°C by using a heating holder within a transmission electron microscope (TEM). Here we describe in-situ shape and size changes and variations in the compositions of individual particles before and after heating. We use ambient samples from wildland and agricultural biomass fires in North America collected during the 2013 Biomass Burn Observation Project (BBOP). The results indicate that individual tar balls (TB; spherical organic material) from biomass burning retained, on average, up to 30% of their volume when heated to 600°C. Chemical analysis reveals that K and Na remain in the residues, whereas S and O were lost. In contrast to bulk sample measurements of carbonaceous particles using thermal/optical carbon analyzers, our single-particle results imply that many individual organic particles consist of multiple types of organic matter having different thermal stabilities. Beyond TBs, our results suggest that because of their thermal stability some organic particles may not be detectable bymore » using aerosol mass spectrometry or thermal/optical carbon analyzers. This result can lead to an underestimate of the abundance of TBs and other organic particles, and therefore biomass burning may have more influence than currently recognized in regional and global climate models.« less
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Meteorological Research Inst., Tsukuba (Japan). Atmospheric Environment and Applied Meteorology Research Dept.
  2. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Environmental and Climate Sciences
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division
  4. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). School of Earth and Space Exploration and School of Molecular Sciences
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
BNL-203453-2018-JAAM; BNL-114105-2017-JA; PNNL-SA-127241
Journal ID: ISSN 0278-6826; R&D Project: 2016-BNL-EE630EECA-Budg; KP1701000
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0012704; AC06–76RLO1830; 2–1403; 5–1605; 2–1703; JP25740008; JP16K16188; JP16H05620; JP15H02811; JP16H01772
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Aerosol Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 52; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0278-6826
American Association for Aerosol Research
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); Ministry of the Environment (Japan); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 09 BIOMASS FUELS; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; tar ball; organic matter; transmission electron microscopy; biomass burning
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1376154