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Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Prescribed Burning in Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystems

1
Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
2
Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(8), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10080464
Received: 20 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 11 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
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Abstract

Prescribed pasture burning plays a critical role in ecosystem maintenance in tallgrass prairie ecosystems and may contribute to agricultural productivity but can also have negative impacts on air quality. Volatile organic compound (VOC) concentrations were measured immediately downwind of prescribed tallgrass prairie fires in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, United States. The VOC mixture is dominated by alkenes and oxygenated VOCs, which are highly reactive and can drive photochemical production of ozone downwind of the fires. The computed emission factors are comparable to those previous measured from pasture maintenance fires in Brazil. In addition to the emission of large amounts of particulate matter, hazardous air pollutants such as benzene and acrolein are emitted in significant amounts and could contribute to adverse health effects in exposed populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: prescribed fire; volatile organic compound; air pollution; tallgrass prairie; Flint Hills; TO-15; ozone; emissions prescribed fire; volatile organic compound; air pollution; tallgrass prairie; Flint Hills; TO-15; ozone; emissions
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Whitehill, A.R.; George, I.; Long, R.; Baker, K.R.; Landis, M. Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Prescribed Burning in Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystems. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 464.

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