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Optical Properties of Biomass Burning Aerosols from the G-WISE Campaign

Photo of Zach McQueen, speaker
Zachary McQueen
Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry
University of Georgia
iSTEM Building 2, Room 1218
Physical Seminar

Wildland fires contribute significantly to the total carbonaceous aerosol mass concentration in the troposphere. These aerosols, formed from the combustion of biomass fuels, exhibit strong absorption and scattering of visible light, which impacts the radiative forcing in the troposphere. The Georgia Wildland-fire Simulation Experiment (G-WISE), conducted in Athens, GA during October-November 2022, was designed to develop a scientific basis for the regulations that dictate under what conditions a prescribed burn can be performed. This interdisciplinary campaign was aimed at measuring the chemical, physical, and optical properties of aerosols formed from the combustion of biofuels. Three different types of fuel, from different eco-regions in Georgia, were burned under different combustion conditions to observe particle dependencies on fuel type, moisture content in the fuel, and atmospheric aging. The particle optical properties were strongly dependent on the fuel type combusted and whether moisture was present in the fuel bed, suggesting that there is a range of combustion regimes among fuel types and burn conditions.

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