Comparison of several wood smoke markers and source apportionment methods for wood burning particulate mass

Sandradewi, J.; Prévôt, A. S. H.; Alfarra, M. R.; Szidat, Sönke; Wehrli, M. N.; Ruff, Matthias; Weimer, S.; Lanz, V. A.; Weingartner, E.; Perron, Nolwenn; Caseiro, A.; Kasper-Giebl, A.; Puxbaum, H.; Wacker, L.; Baltensperger, U. (2008). Comparison of several wood smoke markers and source apportionment methods for wood burning particulate mass (Submitted). Atmospheric chemistry and physics Discussions, 8(2), pp. 8091-8118. European Geosciences Union 10.5194/acpd-8-8091-2008

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Residential wood combustion has only recently been recognized as a major contributor to air pollution in Switzerland and in other European countries. A source apportionment method using the aethalometer light absorption parameters was applied to five winter campaigns at three sites in Switzerland: a village with high wood combustion activity in winter, an urban background site and a highway site. The particulate mass from traffic (PMtraffic) and wood burning (PMwb) emissions obtained with this model compared fairly well with results from the 14C source apportionment method. PMwb from the model was also compared to well known wood smoke markers such as anhydrosugars (levoglucosan and mannosan) and fine mode potassium, as well as to a marker recently suggested from the Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometer (mass fragment m/z 60). Additionally the anhydrosugars were compared to the 14C results and were shown to be comparable to literature values from wood burning emission studies using different types of wood (hardwood, softwood). The levoglucosan to PMwb ratios varied much more strongly between the different campaigns (4–13%) compared to mannosan to PMwb with a range of 1–1.5%. Possible uncertainty aspects for the various methods and markers are discussed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Szidat, Sönke, Ruff, Matthias, Perron, Nolwenn


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




European Geosciences Union




Sönke Szidat

Date Deposited:

22 Jan 2016 11:45

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:51

Publisher DOI:





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