Smoke Emission Estimation
This page last reviewed June 18, 2008
This web page provides background information, downloads and links to ARB biomass burning methodologies. The burning of vegetation comprises a substantial portion of the particulate emission inventory in California. Accurate and comprehensive activity data is key to a high quality inventories, and consistent and well documented methodologies are an essential backbone to State Implementation Plans (SIP). Below are ARB recommended methods for estimating emissions from agricultural related burning, prescribed burns and wildfires. These methods are divided into two methodologies: the Emission Estimation System (EES) model and the managed burn Emission Factor Table.
The "EES model" can be used to estimate emissions for forest type fires such as wildfires, prescribed burns, wildland fire use fires (WFU) and range improvement burns. The managed burn Emission Factor Table can be used to generate emission for agricultural related burning of orchard prunings, and agricultural burning of field and row crops, as well as burning for weed abatement, range improvement and other waste burning.
Table 1 below shows the emission inventory categories (EIC) related to biomass burning, including the EIC name, EIC code, and a brief category description. Table 1 also groups Managed Burn and Disposal categories programmatically and methodologically into three groups: Agricultural (Ag) Burning, Prescribed Burning, and Other Burning.
Emission Estimation System (EES) Model
Wildfires, Prescribed Burns and Wildland Fire Use Fires
Download: EES Model (zip file-48mb)
The EES Model is a Geographic Information System (GIS) based application that can be used to generate emission for prescribe burns (Rx), wildfires, and WFU.
The EES Model uses GIS to determine the vegetation burned in a fire, then it uses the First Order Fire Effects Model (FOFEM 4.0) methodology to determine the fuel loading characteristics for fuel component by vegetation type. The EES then applies the appropriate emission factor to generate smoke emissions per fire event. For additional information and an example wildfire calculation, go to:
- Wildfire Emission Estimation Methodology
- Wildland Fire Use Fire (WFU)Methodology
- Prescribed Burning Emission Inventory Methodology - San Joaquin Valley Air Basin
The EES Model was developed for ARB by UC Berkeley's Center for the Assessment and Monitoring of Forest and Environmental Resources (CAMFER) laboratory. The EES model was developed in two phases. To view the CAMFER reports documenting methods used to create the EES model click on the links below:
- 2003 - Extension and Input Refinement to the ARB Wildland Fire Emissions Estimation Model
- 2001 - Creating a Statewide Spatially and Temporally Allocated Wildfire and Prescribed Burn Emission Inventory Using Consistent Emission Factors
To find out more about FOFEM methods, or to download the FOFEM application, go to FOFEM.
Table 2. Prescribed Burning Emission Factors by Fuel Component (lbs/ton)
|Litter, wood 0-1 in||9.3||9.3||9.3||7.9||7.9||7.9||0.5||0.5||0.5||2.1||2.1||2.1||3,482.7||3,482.7||3,482.7|
|Wood 1-3 in||14.0||14.0||14.0||11.9||11.9||11.9||0.5||0.5||0.5||4.5||4.5||4.5||3,372.7||3,372.7||3,372.7|
|Wood 3+ in||26.6||21.6||19.1||22.5||18.3||16.2||0.4||0.4||0.4||10.8||8.2||7.0||3,079.4||3,196.8||3,255.4|
|Herb, shrub, regen||25.1||25.1||25.1||21.3||21.3||21.3||0.4||0.4||0.4||10.0||10.0||10.0||3,116.1||3,116.1||3,116.1|
|Litter, wood 0-1 in||3.7||3.7||3.7||0.5||0.5||0.5||8.2||8.2||8.2||2.5||2.5||2.5||52.4||52.4||52.4|
|Wood 1-3 in||7.8||7.8||7.8||1.1||1.1||1.1||8.0||8.0||8.0||2.5||2.5||2.5||111.4||111.4||111.4|
|Wood 3+ in||18.8||14.4||12.2||2.7||2.1||1.7||7.3||7.6||7.7||2.2||2.3||2.4||268.9||205.8||174.4|
|Herb, shrub, regen||17.4||17.4||17.4||2.5||2.5||2.5||7.4||7.4||7.4||2.3||2.3||2.3||249.2||249.2||249.2|
Agricultural Burning and Other Managed Burns
Ag Burning-Field Crops and Pruning, Weed Abatement,
Rangeland Improvement, and Waste Burning (unspecified)
Managed Burn Emission Factor Table (Excel-35K)
Sample Reporting Spreadsheet (Excel-643K)
The managed burn factors are used to calculate emissions for agricultural burning - field crops, agricultural burning - pruning, weed abatement, and rangeland improvement categories. The table provides the emission factors and fuel loading factors by fuel type. To calculate emissions by fuel type, multiply the acres burned by the crop specific fuel loading factor, then multiply the calculated tons of material burned by the crop specific emission factors for each pollutant. If tons of material are available, simply multiply tons by the crop specific emission factors provided in the table. For further information and to view a sample calculation, go to the Agricultural Burn Emission Estimation Methodology.
Emission factors are provided for PM10, PM2.5, NOx, SO2, VOC,
and CO. Background information for these emission factors and the fuel loading factors are
explained in the
Agricultural Burning Emission
dated August 17, 2000. Below are
additional links to background information for the emission
factors and fuel loading factors:
- Jenkins Report - University of California at Davis in 1992 and 1993 ( Volume 1) (Volume 2)
- AP-42 - U.S. EPA's "Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors" Chapter 2.5 - Open Burning
Forest Burning - Pile Burning
ARB staff is currently working on expanding the suite of emission factors for this category.
For additional information on smoke emission estimation methods or on this web page please contact ARB staff member Neva Lowery at (916) 323-4887