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Biomass burning is a major source for gaseous and particulate atmospheric pollution over southern Africa and globally. The purpose of this study was to quantify biomass burning emissions in an attempt to better understand and predict associated environmental impacts.

Sixty biomass burning experiments were carried out November 2000-January 2001 in three regions of southern Africa that are representative of major regional ecosystem types: Etosha National Park (Namibia), Kruger National Park (South Africa), and woodland sites in Zambia and Malawi. Organic halogen-containing gases were measured in the exhaust of these fires as well as the smoke mixing ratios of CO, CO2, NOx, CH4 and N2O. Fuel and ash samples were analyzed for elemental composition. These data allow investigators to assess the elemental mass balance for each experimental burn as well as the corresponding emission factors for individual compounds as functions of the biofuel composition.

This data set contains four types of data:

Data Citation:

Cite this data set as follows:

Lobert, J. M., W. C. Keene, and P. J. Crutzen. 2004. SAFARI 2000 Biomass Burning Emissions, Selected Sites, Dry Season 2000. Data set. Available on-line [] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/752.


Bardwell, C. A., J. R. Maben, J. A. Hurt, W. C. Keene, J. N. Galloway, J. F. Boatman, and D. Wellman. 1990. A technique using high-flow, dichotomous filter packs for measuring major atmospheric chemical constituents. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 4: 151-163.

Butler, F. E., F. J. Toth, D. J. Driscoll, J. N. Hein, and R. H. Jungers. 1979. Analysis of fuels by ion chromatography: Comparison with ASTM methods. In: Ion Chromatographic Analysis of Environmental Pollutants, vol. 2, pp. 185-192, Ann Arbor Sciences, Ann Arbor, MI.

Crutzen, P. J. and M. O. Andreae. 1990. Biomass burning in the tropics: Impact on atmospheric chemistry and biogeochemical cycles. Science, 250: 1669-1678.

Crutzen, P. J., L. E. Heidt, J. P. Krasneck, W. H. Pollock, and W. Seiler. 1979. Biomass burning as a source of atmospheric trace gases: CO, H2, N2O, NO, CH3Cl, and COS. Nature, 282: 253-256.

Keene, W. C. and D. L. Savoie. 1998. The pH of deliquesced sea-salt aerosol in the polluted marine boundary layer. Geophys. Res. Lett., 25: 2181-2184.

Lobert, J. M., W. C. Keene, P. J. Crutzen, J. R. Maben, D. H. Scharffe, and J. Williams. 2001. Methyl halide emissions from experimental burns of southern African biofuels. Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Paper No. A41C-08.

Data Format:

This data set contains the following data files:

(1) Base data for individual fires. The files contain engineering data (weight, temperatures, flows, pressures, etc.) as well as the mixing ratios and mass fluxes of CO, CO2 and NOx at 1 to 3 second resolution. The file naming convention is the date on which the experiment took place, followed by an a, b, c... for multiple experiments performed on each day. The temporal coverage is from November 24, 2000 to January 16, 2001. The tables are stored as tab-delimited text files. Each file has four header lines followed by two rows of column descriptors with column names and units. The bottom line of the header is in the format Date of experiment, Version#, Date of this version, length of time step; addtl. comments:. The next line (line 5) the headers are the column names and line 6 is the units. Data follow the headers.

(2) Fuel and ash elemental analyses. This data file (s2k_CNX_analysis_5.csv) contains the measured content of C, N, S, P, Cl, Br, I, K, Ca, Na, and Mg, in mg/kg dry weight, from representative biofuel samples and burned biofuel ash.

(3) Flux data files. This data file (integrated_emissions_CNX_4.csv) contains integrated mass fluxes of CO, CO2, NOx and total mass of burned elements relative to the fuel element (as well as the above fuel analyses).

(4) Emissions data files. Measurements include: emissions of soluble, gaseous compounds (NH3, SO2, CH3COOH, HCOOH, HCl, HONO, and HNO3); emissions of total inorganic Cl and Br; and ionic and elemental compositions of particles. The files include values for all species measured plus CO2, CO and NOx for different types of biofuel [e.g., grass, shrubs, bush, litter, leaves, branches (by size), twigs, charcoal, ag waste, and mixed biofuels]. In each data file, fuel burned corresponds to the actual dry mass emitted to the atmosphere (i.e., ash is excluded). The data files are:

s2k_elemental_emiss_factors.csv -- This file contains elemental emission factors (g element emitted / kg element in dry wt fuel burned).

s2k_standard_emiss_factors.csv -- This file contains standard emission factors (g species emitted / kg dry wt fuel burned).

s2k_molar_emiss_ratios_CO.csv -- This file contains molar emission ratios relative to CO (mole species emitted / mole CO emitted).

s2k_molar_emiss_ratios_CO2.csv -- This file contains molar emission ratios relative to CO2 (mole species emitted / mole CO2 emitted).

Additional information about the sample collection and processing, measurement techniques, and data format is found in the companion file:

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