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Project at a Glance

Project Status: complete

Title: Air pollution from forest and agricultural burning.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Darley, Ellis F

Contractor: University of California

Contract Number: 2-017-1

Research Program Area: Atmospheric Processes

Topic Areas: Agriculture


This project was initiated to obtain information on the effect of atmospheric conditions, residue management and fire management techniques on particulate, hydrocarbon, and carbon monoxide emissions from open field burninig. Burns were conducted with cereal grains such as wheat, rice, and barley; asparagus fern and orchard prunings. Many burns were conducted in the field and laboratory simulations of field burns were done at the SAPRC burning tower. Both laboratory and field data agreed that moisture content of fine fuel residues was the most significant factor influencing emission levels. At higher moisture contents particulate emissions can be reduced by lighting the field only on the down wind edges (backfiring) or using an into-the-wind striplighting technique. Particulates were analyzed for size distribution and percent fraction soluble in chloroform. Residue drying rates were measured to aid in predicting when a particular residue would be dry enough to burn. Costs of various fire management procedures were determined and cultural recommendations to reduce emissions are given.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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