Emission factors of hydrocarbons, halocarbons, trace gases and particles from biomass burning in Brazil


  • Ronald J. Ferek,

  • Jeffrey S. Reid,

  • Peter V. Hobbs,

  • Donald R. Blake,

  • Catherine Liousse


Airborne measurements of the emissions of gases and particles from 19 individual forest, cerrado, and pasture fires in Brazil were obtained during the Smoke, Clouds, and Radiation-Brazil (SCAR-B) study in August-September 1995. Emission factors were determined for a number of major and minor gaseous and particulate species, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, methane, nonmethane hydrocarbons, halocarbons, particulate (black and organic) carbon, and particulate ionic species. The magnitude of the emission factors for gaseous species were determined primarily by the relative amounts of flaming and smoldering combustion, rather than differences in vegetation type. Hydrocarbons and halocarbons were well correlated with CO, which is indicative of emissions primarily associated with smoldering combustion. Although there was large variability between fires, higher emission factors for SO2 and NOχ were associated with an increased ratio of flaming to smoldering combustion; this could be due to variations in the amounts of sulfur and nitrogen in the fuels. Emission factors for particles were not so clearly associated with smoldering combustion as those for hydrocarbons. The emission factors measured in this study are similar to those measured previously in Brazil and Africa. However, particle emission factors from fires in Brazil appear to be roughly 20 to 40% lower than those from North American boreal forest fires.