A biomass burning source of C1-C4 alkyl nitrates

Isobel J. Simpson, Simone Meinardi, Donald R. Blake, Nicola J. Blake, F. Sherwood Rowland, Elliot L Atlas, Frank Flocke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report the first observations of the emission of five C1-C4 alkyl nitrates (methyl-, ethyl-, n-propyl-, i-propyl-, and 2-butyl nitrate) from savanna burning. Average alkyl nitrate mixing ratios in the immediate vicinity of three bushfires in Northern Australia were 47-122 times higher than local background mixing ratios. These are the highest alkyl nitrate mixing ratios we have ever detected, with maximum mixing ratios exceeding 3 ppbv for methyl nitrate. Methyl nitrate dominated the alkyl nitrate emissions during the flaming stage of savanna burning, whereas C2-C4 alkyl nitrates were mostly emitted during the smoldering stage. To explain the formation of alkyl nitrates from biomass burning, we propose a reaction mechanism involving the combination of reactive radicals at high temperature. Bearing in mind the uncertainties associated with extrapolating small data sets to much larger scales, alkyl nitrate emissions from global savanna burning are estimated to be on the order of 8 Gg/yr.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016290
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume29
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2002
Externally publishedYes

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biomass burning
nitrates
methyl nitrate
nitrate
mixing ratios
mixing ratio
savanna
smoldering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Simpson, I. J., Meinardi, S., Blake, D. R., Blake, N. J., Rowland, F. S., Atlas, E. L., & Flocke, F. (2002). A biomass burning source of C1-C4 alkyl nitrates. Geophysical Research Letters, 29(24), [016290]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2002GL016290

A biomass burning source of C1-C4 alkyl nitrates. / Simpson, Isobel J.; Meinardi, Simone; Blake, Donald R.; Blake, Nicola J.; Rowland, F. Sherwood; Atlas, Elliot L; Flocke, Frank.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 29, No. 24, 016290, 15.12.2002.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Simpson, IJ, Meinardi, S, Blake, DR, Blake, NJ, Rowland, FS, Atlas, EL & Flocke, F 2002, 'A biomass burning source of C1-C4 alkyl nitrates', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 29, no. 24, 016290. https://doi.org/10.1029/2002GL016290
Simpson IJ, Meinardi S, Blake DR, Blake NJ, Rowland FS, Atlas EL et al. A biomass burning source of C1-C4 alkyl nitrates. Geophysical Research Letters. 2002 Dec 15;29(24). 016290. https://doi.org/10.1029/2002GL016290
Simpson, Isobel J. ; Meinardi, Simone ; Blake, Donald R. ; Blake, Nicola J. ; Rowland, F. Sherwood ; Atlas, Elliot L ; Flocke, Frank. / A biomass burning source of C1-C4 alkyl nitrates. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2002 ; Vol. 29, No. 24.
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