Size distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon particulate emission factors from agricultural burning
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Haleh Keshtkar; Lowell L. Ashbaugh
Publication Year: 2007

Cataloging Information

  • agricultural burning
  • biofuel
  • carbon
  • chemical compounds
  • combustion
  • cropland fires
  • distribution
  • emission factors
  • fire management
  • fuel loading
  • hydrocarbons
  • PAH - polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • particle size
  • particulates
  • smoke management
  • statistical analysis
  • temperature
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 23734
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21754
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Burning of agricultural waste residue is a common method of disposal when preparing land following crop harvest. This practice introduces volatile organic compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), into the atmosphere. This study examines the particle size distribution in the smoke emissions of two common agricultural waste residues (biofuels) in California, almond prunings and rice straw. The residues were burned in a combustion chamber designed specifically for this purpose, and the smoke emissions were collected on 10-stage MOUDI impactors for analysis of PAH and total particle mass. The results, in units of emission factors, show that combustion temperature is an important factor in determining the smoke particle PAH composition. Total PAH emissions from rice straw burns were 18.6 mg kg−1 of fuel, while the emissions from almond prunings were lower at 8.03 mg kg−1. The less volatile five- and six-ring PAH was predominately on smaller particles where it condensed in the early stages of combustion while the more volatile three- and four-ring PAH formed on larger particles as the smoke cooled.

Online Link(s):
Keshtkar, Haleh; Ashbaugh, Lowell L. 2007. Size distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon particulate emission factors from agricultural burning. Atmospheric Environment 41(13):2729-2739.