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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 853405, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/853405
Research Article

Wood-Burning Device Changeout: Modeling the Impact on PM2.5 Concentrations in a Remote Subarctic Urban Nonattainment Area

Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Geophysical Institute and College of Natural Science and Mathematics, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 903 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7230, USA

Received 4 January 2012; Accepted 14 February 2012

Academic Editor: Lidia Morawska

Copyright © 2012 Huy N. Q. Tran and Nicole Mölders. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The effects of exchanging noncertified with certified wood-burning devices on the 24h-average PM2.5 concentrations in the nonattainment area of Fairbanks, Alaska, in a cold season (October to March) were investigated using the Weather Research and Forecasting model inline coupled with a chemistry package. Even changing out only 2930 uncertified woodstoves and 90 outdoor wood boilers reduced the 24 h-average PM2.5 concentrations on average by 0.6 μg.m−3 (6%) and avoided seven out of 55 simulated exceedance days during this half-a-year. The highest reductions on any exceedance day ranged between 1.7 and 2.8 μg.m−3. The relative response factors obtained were consistently relatively low (~0.95) for all PM2.5 species and all months. Sensitivity studies suggest that the assessment of the benefits of a wood-burning device changeout program in avoiding exceedances heavily relies on the accuracy of the estimates on how many wood-burning devices exist that can be exchanged.