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Characterisation of VOC, SVOC, and PM emissions from peat burnt in laboratory simulations
Black, R., Chris Geron, J. Aurell, AND B. Gullett. Characterisation of VOC, SVOC, and PM emissions from peat burnt in laboratory simulations. 4th Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference, Raleigh, NC, February 18 - 22, 2013.
Wildfires of peat are a poorly characterized source of emissions. This work presents a unique initial characterization of emissions from this source.
Peat, or organic soil, is a vast store of organic carbon, widely distributed from polar temperate to equatorial regions. Drainage for agriculture and drought are drying vast areas of peat, exposing it to increasing fire risk, which may be exacerbated by climate change. This has been labeled the “peat bomb”, due to the potential for huge emissions of carbon dioxide during peat fires. Some characterizations of emissions from peat fires have been made and show emission factors for carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide much higher than for surface forest fuels on an area burnt basis. Additionally, PM emissions from peat fires have been linked through epidemiology studies with respiratory-related hospital admissions. The aim of this study is to further characterize emissions from peat combustion in a laboratory environment measuring mass loss and evolved volatile and semivolatile organic carbons.