Burning of olive tree branches: A major organic aerosol source in the Mediterranean

by E. Kostenidou, C. Kaltsonoudis, M. Tsiflikiotou, E. Louvaris, L. M. Russell, S. N. Pandis
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()
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Abstract

Abstract. Aerosol produced during the burning of olive tree pruned is burned in Greece, 2300±600 tons of otBB-OA are Open Access branches was characterized with both direct source sam- emitted every year. This activity is one of the most important pling (using a mobile smog chamber) and with ambient mea- fine aerosol sources during the winter months in Mediter- surements during the burning season. The fresh particles ranean countries. Geoscientific were composed of 80%organic matter, 8–10%black carbon Instrumentation (BC), 5%potassium, 3–4%sulfate, 2–3%nitrate and 0.8% Methods and chloride. Almost half of the fresh olive tree branches burn- ing organic aerosol (otBB-OA) consisted of alkane groups. 1 Introduction Data Systems Open Access Their mode diameter was close to 70 nm. The oxygen to car- bon (O : C) ratio of the fresh otBB-OA was 0.29±0.04. The In all, 95% of the global biomass burning is anthropogenic mass fraction of levoglucosan in PM1 was 0.034–0.043, rel- resulting from efforts to clear land, convert forests to agricul- Geoscientific atively low in comparison with most fuel types. This may tural and pastoral lands, heat residences and dispose agricul- Model Development lead to an underestimation of the otBB-OA contribution if tural waste (Crutzen and Andreae, 1990; Schüle, 1990; An- Open Access levoglucosan is being used as a wood burning tracer. Chem- dreae and Merlet, 2001). Biomass burning can contribute up ical aging was observed during smog chamber experiments, to 90%of fine particulate matter in the burning season in the as f44 and O:C ratio increased, due to reactions with OH Amazon (Yamasoe et al., 2000). During the winter, biomass Hydrology and radicals and O3. The otBB-OA AMS mass spectrum dif- combustion is one of the major sources of organic aerosol fers from the other published biomass burning spectra, with in large parts of Europe (Puxbaum et al., 2007). The release Earth System a main difference at m/z 60, used as levoglucosan tracer. height of the emissions is lowand the mixing during the win- Sciences Open Access In addition to particles, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) ter months is often weak, leading to the deterioration of local such as methanol, acetonitrile, acrolein, benzene, toluene and air quality and visibility and an increase in the risk of ad- xylenes are also emitted. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) verse effects on human health especially in populated areas was applied to the ambient organic aerosol data and 3 fac- (Lighty et al., 2000; Boman et al., 2003; Naeher et al., 2007). tors could be identified: OOA (oxygenated organic aerosol, Biomass burning particles also affect earth’s albedo (Crutzen Ocean Science 55 %), HOA (hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol, 11.3%) and and Andreae, 1990; Andreae, 1995) and can act as cloud con- Open Access otBB-OA 33.7 %. The fresh chamber otBB-OA AMS spec- densation nuclei (CCN), modifying the cloud droplet size trum is close to the PMF otBB-OA spectrum and resembles distribution and therefore the reflectivity of clouds (Rogers the ambient mass spectrum during olive tree branches burn- et al., 1991; Roberts et al., 2002). ing periods. We estimated an otBB-OA emission factor of Numerous laboratory-based studies have been conducted Solid Earth 3.5±0.9 g kg−1. Assuming that half of the olive tree branchesDynamics Abstract. Aerosol produced during the burning of olive tree pruned is burned in Greece, 2300±600 tons of otBB-OA are Open Access branches was characterized with both direct source sam- emitted every year. This activity is one of the most important pling (using a mobile smog chamber) and with ambient mea- fine aerosol sources during the winter months in Mediter- surements during the burning season. The fresh particles ranean countries. Geoscientific were composed of 80%organic matter, 8–10%black carbon Instrumentation (BC), 5%potassium, 3–4%sulfate, 2–3%nitrate and 0.8% Methods and chloride. Almost half of the fresh olive tree branches burn- ing organic aerosol (otBB-OA) consisted of alkane groups. 1 Introduction Data Systems Open

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