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Environ Sci Technol. 2017 Feb 7;51(3):1293-1302. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b03503. Epub 2017 Jan 18.

Emissions of Selected Semivolatile Organic Chemicals from Forest and Savannah Fires.

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Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences, The University of Queensland , 39 Kessels Road, Coopers Plains, Queensland 4108, Australia.
International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health, Queensland University of Technology , 2 George Streeet, Brisbane City, Queensland 4000, Australia.
Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Wollongong , Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia.
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, Aspendale Laboratories, 107-121 Station Street, Aspendale, Victoria 3195, Australia.
Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University , 170 Kessels Road, Nathan, Queensland 4111, Australia.


The emission factors (EFs) for a broad range of semivolatile organic chemicals (SVOCs) from subtropical eucalypt forest and tropical savannah fires were determined for the first time from in situ investigations. Significantly higher (t test, P < 0.01) EFs (μg kg-1 dry fuel, gas + particle-associated) for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (∑13 PAHs) were determined from the subtropical forest fire (7,000 ± 170) compared to the tropical savannah fires (1,600 ± 110), due to the approximately 60-fold higher EFs for 3-ring PAHs from the former. EF data for many PAHs from the eucalypt forest fire were comparable with those previously reported from pine and fir forest combustion events. EFs for other SVOCs including polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), polychlorinated naphthalene (PCN), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners as well as some pesticides (e.g., permethrin) were determined from the subtropical eucalypt forest fire. The highest concentrations of total suspended particles, PAHs, PCBs, PCNs, and PBDEs, were typically observed in the flaming phase of combustion. However, concentrations of levoglucosan and some pesticides such as permethrin peaked during the smoldering phase. Along a transect (10-150-350 m) from the forest fire, concentration decrease for PCBs during flaming was faster compared to PAHs, while levoglucosan concentrations increased.

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