Articles | Volume 8, issue 20
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 6147–6153, 2008
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 6147–6153, 2008

  22 Oct 2008

22 Oct 2008

Water vapor release from biomass combustion

R. S. Parmar1, M. Welling1, M. O. Andreae1, and G. Helas1,* R. S. Parmar et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Biogeochemistry Department, P.O. Box 3060, 55020 Mainz, Germany
  • *now at: IIMT Engineering College, Department of Applied Science, Meerut 250001 (UP), India

Abstract. We report on the emission of water vapor from biomass combustion. Concurrent measurements of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are used to scale the concentrations of water vapor found, and are referenced to carbon in the biomass. The investigated fuel types include hardwood (oak and African musasa), softwood (pine and spruce, partly with green needles), and African savanna grass. The session-averaged ratio of H2O to the sum of CO and CO2 in the emissions from 16 combustion experiments ranged from 1.2 to 3.7, indicating the presence of water that is not chemically bound. This non-bound biomass moisture content ranged from 33% in the dry African hardwood, musasa, to 220% in fresh pine branches with needles. The moisture content from fresh biomass contributes significantly to the water vapor in biomass burning emissions, and its influence on the behavior of fire plumes and pyro-cumulus clouds needs to be evaluated.

Final-revised paper