Organic Tracers of Plant Classes in Biomass Combustion and Smoke in AerosolsEPA Grant Number: R823990
Title: Organic Tracers of Plant Classes in Biomass Combustion and Smoke in Aerosols
Investigators: Simoneit, Bernd R.T.
Institution: Oregon State University
EPA Project Officer: Shapiro, Paul
Project Period: October 1, 1995 through September 30, 1997
Project Amount: $196,244
RFA: Exploratory Research - Chemistry and Physics of Air (1995) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry
Description:Most previous studies of organic matter in aerosol particles have concentrated on hydrocarbons and to a lesser extent on oxygenated species, and the organic matter in urban aerosols has been characterized more extensively than that in rural, remote and oceanic samples. Currently, source determination by analysis of the chemical makeup of aerosols is at the level of point-source correlations. The proposed work will refine and broaden the potential organic tracers specific for characterization of aerosol organic matter and provide the baseline data to permit the definition of regional models of source compositions. This work will concentrate on two major regions?nordic/temperate forest/grassland and tropical rain forest. Samples of smoke aerosols and vegetation for this study are in house and additional sampling is continuing. They are derived mainly from the Western United States (extensive collections in Oregon and Los Angeles), Brazil (Amazonia), and Malaysia. The hydrocarbon and oxygenated polar lipid fractions have been separated, preserved and are ready, or will be prepared, to be characterized in terms of homologous compound series and specific molecular markers.
The predominant result of this study will be an initial data base of oxygenated compounds, a major fraction present in excess of hydrocarbons in all aerosols. The signatures of the hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds characteristic for natural biogenic versus anthropogenic and combustion emissions will be elucidated and combined with the complimentary data for the aerosols. These results can then be applied to test regional source correlations and to distinguish the organic matter from smoke, natural emissions and anthropogenic emissions in regional aerosols.