Yellow Beads and Missing Particles: Trouble Ahead for Filter-Based Absorption Measurements

R. Subramanian, Christoph A. Roden, Poonam Boparai, Tami C. Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Particulate emissions from low-temperature biomass burning are dominated by organic matter. Here, we show that such emissions have a liquid, bead-like appearance when collected on fibrous filters, and the number of these beads are far less than expected for solid spherical particles. These shapes are in line with published drop-on-fiber theories for liquids entrained on filaments. A smoldering pine sample is yellowish, with organic carbon over 99% of the total carbon, and chars substantially in thermal-optical analysis (TOA), indicating that such liquid organic particles could affect both absorption measurements and TOA of such samples. Similar colored samples collected in the field from rice-straw burning and cook stove emissions also show a similar liquid appearance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-637
Number of pages8
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 3 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Pollution


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