NIST logo

Publication Citation: Distinguishing the Relative Contribution of Fossil Fuel and Biomass Combustion Aerosols Deposited at Summit, Greenland through Isotopic and Molecular Characterization of Insoluble Carbon

NIST Authors in Bold

Author(s): J F. Slater; Lloyd A. Currie; J E. Dibb; Bruce A. Benner Jr;
Title: Distinguishing the Relative Contribution of Fossil Fuel and Biomass Combustion Aerosols Deposited at Summit, Greenland through Isotopic and Molecular Characterization of Insoluble Carbon
Published: September 01, 2002
Abstract: Although the earth's polar regions are isolated from most industrial activity, combustion-generated particles from both fossil fuel and biomass burning impact the regions. Most efforts aimed at quantifying the input of combustion aerosols at Summit, Greenland, have involved the measurement of water-soluble inorganic and organic ions in air, snow, and ice. The ubiquitous nature of soluble ions in the atmosphere, however, makes it difficult to isolate the combustion component from that produced by natural processes. Thus, more specific combustion indicators are needed to accurately quantify inputs from the burning of biomass and fossil fuels. The present study reports on radiocarbon (14C) analysis of elemental carbon (EC) and quantification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) of water-insoluble particulate matter isolated from a snowpit excavated at Summit, Greenland in 1996. The 14C activity measurements allow us to quantify the relative contribution of EC from biomass burning and fossil fuel combustion transported to and deposited at Summit during 1994-1995. The PAH measurements are used to further refine sources of the particulate matter through a comparison of industrial process emission ratios and those determined in the snowpit samples.
Citation: Atmospheric Environment
Volume: 36
Issue: No. 28
Pages: pp. 4463 - 4477
Keywords: biomass burning;C-14;combustion aerosol;elemental carbon;greenland;particulate carbon;summit
Research Areas: Pollution/Indoor Air Quality, Environment/Climate, Chemistry, Aerosol/Particulate Measurements and Standards, Fossil Fuels