Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications

RMRS Online Publication - Journal Articles, External Publications, and Special Reports
Chemical composition of wildland fire emissions

Urbanski, Shawn P. Hao, Wei Min; Baker, Stephen. 2009. Chemical composition of wildland fire emissions. In: Bytnerowicz, A.; Arbaugh, M.; Riebau, A.; Andersen, C., eds. Developments in environmental science, Volume 8: Wildland fires and air pollution. The Netherlands: Elsevier: 79-107.

Wildland fires are major sources of trace gases and aerosol, and these emissions are believed to significantly influence the chemical composition of the atmosphere and the earth's climate system. The wide variety of pollutants released by wildland fire include greenhouse gases, photochemically reactive compounds, and fine and coarse particulate matter. Through direct emissions and secondary chemical and physical processes, wildland fire can have a significant impact on tropospheric chemistry and serve as a major source of air pollution. We provide a synthesis of emission factor data from the literature and previously unpublished research for use in global, continental and regional scale studies investigating the role of wildland fire emissions in atmospheric chemistry and climate. The emission factor data is presented by geographic zones (boreal, temperate, and tropical) and vegetation group (forest and savanna/ rangeland), allowing researchers to account for the different emission characteristics exhibited by biomass burning in these disparate regions. A brief overview of the wildland fuel combustion process as related to emissions production is also provided. The atmospheric fate of wildland fire emissions is briefly discussed and related to the production of secondary air pollutants. Previously unpublished results from a series of fire emission studies in the United States and Canada are presented in an appendix.

Keywords: wildland fire, emissions, pollutants, atmosphere, climate system

About PDFs: For best results, do not open the PDF in your Web browser. Right-click on the PDF link to download the PDF file directly to your computer. Click here for more PDF help.

Download Article

PDF File Size: 205 K

Title: RMRS Other Publications: Chemical composition of wildland fire emissions
Electronic Publish Date: October 16, 2009
Last Update:
October 16, 2009

RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us