Biomass and Fossil Fuel Combustion Contributions to Elemental Carbon Across the San Francisco Bay Area

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This article provides better understanding in how effective regulations have been/could be across the diverse Bay Area.

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14 p.

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Yoon, Subin; Fairley, David; Barrett, Tate E. & Sheesley, Rebecca J. September 25, 2018.

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This article provides better understanding in how effective regulations have been/could be across the diverse Bay Area.

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14 p.

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Abstract: Ambient black carbon (BC) has detrimental effects on both human health and near-term global warming. To
mitigate these negative effects, there have been significant efforts to reduce emissions of BC from anthropogenic
and biomass burning sources in California's Bay Area since the 1960s. Recent reductions in BC have mainly been
from fossil fuel combustion sources such as diesel but additional reductions may be needed for contemporary
carbon sources like biomass burning and meat cooking. In this study, PM10 (particulate matter with aerodynamic
diameter of less than or equal to 10 μm) samples were collected at seven sites across the San Francisco Bay Area
from November 2011 to October 2012 to create winter and non-winter composites for each site. Radiocarbon
(14C) abundance and chemical mass balance (CMB) modeling were used for source apportionment of ambient
elemental carbon (EC, a proxy for BC). The 14C abundance in the EC fraction was used to quantify the relative
contributions of fossil carbon and contemporary carbon sources. The average biomass burning contributions are
48 ± 8% and 41 ± 5% for winter and non-winter seasons, respectively, across the Bay Area. Ambient concentrations
of EC are approximately two to three times higher during the winter compared to the non-winter
season, except for Cupertino. A CMB model, using bulk aerosol composition and select inorganic compounds,
was used to understand the contributions of natural gas combustion, gasoline exhaust, and diesel exhaust to
fossil carbon as well as the contribution of biomass burning and meat cooking to contemporary carbon. The
different apportionment methods for EC (14C and CMB analysis) agree within 16 ± 12% for fraction fossil and
biomass burning for both winter and non-winter seasons. The contemporary contribution to EC is much higher
than estimated by current emission inventories, suggesting that the inventories may overestimate the contribution
from fossil fuels, particularly diesel exhaust. The results from this study are compared to literature
values from other 14C-EC or BC studies from across the world.

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  • Atmospheric Environment, 2018. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier

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  • Publication Title: Atmospheric Environment
  • Volume: 195
  • Page Start: 229
  • Page End: 242
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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  • June 12, 2018

Accepted Date

  • September 23, 2018

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  • September 25, 2018

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 19, 2018, 12:07 p.m.

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Yoon, Subin; Fairley, David; Barrett, Tate E. & Sheesley, Rebecca J. Biomass and Fossil Fuel Combustion Contributions to Elemental Carbon Across the San Francisco Bay Area, article, September 25, 2018; Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1393783/: accessed January 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.