Atmospheric pollution and global warming issues are increasingly becoming major environmental concerns. Fire is one of the significant sources of pollutant gases released into the atmosphere; and tropical biomass fires, which are of particular interest in this study, contribute greatly to the global budget of CO and CO2. This pioneer research simulates the natural biomass burning strategy in Malaysia using an experimental burning facility. The investigation was conducted on the emissions (CO2, CO, and Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylenes (BTEX)) from ten tropical biomass species. The selected species represent the major tropical forests that are frequently subjected to dry forest fire incidents. An experimental burning facility equipped with an on-line gas analyzer was employed to determine the burning emissions. The major emission factors were found to vary among the species, and the specific results were as follows. The moisture content of a particular biomass greatly influenced its emission pattern. The smoke analysis results revealed the existence of BTEX, which were sampled from a combustion chamber by enrichment traps aided with a universal gas sampler. The BTEX were determined by organic solvent extraction followed by GC/MS quantification, the results of which suggested that the biomass burning emission factor contributed significant amounts of benzene, toluene, and m,p-xylene. The modified combustion efficiency (MCE) changed in response to changes in the sample moisture content. Therefore, this study concluded that the emission of some pollutants mainly depends on the burning phase and sample moisture content of the biomass.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.