Biomass burning as a source of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, methanol, acetone, acetonitrile, and hydrogen cyanide Academic Article uri icon


  • Using a novel experimental technique, based on proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry, from measurements of emissions from laboratory scale biomass burning experiments, we have estimated the source strengths of several potential HO x producing gases: formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, methanol and acetone. The derived global average emissions are 5-13; 3.8-10; 1.5-4; 2.3-6.1 Tg y -1 , respectively. The resulting global average HO x production from photochemical decay of these gases is 3 10 9 molecules cm -2 s -1 . Although relatively small in a global context, these emissions are significant for the photochemistry in fresh fire plumes. From our measurements are also estimated global source strengths from biomass burning for CH 3 CN and HCN of 0.4-1.0; 0.2-0.6 Tg y -1 respectively. The biomass burning emissions of CH 3 CN may well dominate the global source of this compound, which thus might well be a unique tracer for biomass burning. Some discrepancies between experimental studies must, however, be resolved. Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Holzinger, R., Warneke, C., Hansel, A., Jordan, A., Lindinger, W., Scharffe, D. H., Schade, G., & Crutzen, P. J.

citation count

  • 308

complete list of authors

  • Holzinger, R||Warneke, C||Hansel, A||Jordan, A||Lindinger, W||Scharffe, DH||Schade, G||Crutzen, PJ

publication date

  • January 1999