Differences in isoprene and monoterpene emissions from cold-tolerant eucalypt species grown in the UK

Purser, Gemma; Heal, Mathew R.; White, Stella; Morison, James I.L.; Drewer, Julia ORCID: 2020 Differences in isoprene and monoterpene emissions from cold-tolerant eucalypt species grown in the UK. Atmospheric Pollution Research, 11 (11). 2011-2021.

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The UK may be required to expand its bioenergy production in order to make a significant contribution towards the delivery of its ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050. However, some trees grown for bioenergy are emitters of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including isoprene and terpenes, precursors in the formation of tropospheric ozone, an atmospheric pollutant, which require assessment to understand any consequent impacts on air quality. In this initial scoping study, VOC emission rates were quantified under UK climate conditions for the first time from four species of eucalypts suitable for growing as short-rotation forest for bioenergy. An additional previously characterised eucalypt species was included for comparison. Measurements were undertaken using a dynamic chamber sampling system on 2-3 year-old trees grown under ambient conditions. Average emission rates for isoprene, normalised to 30 °C and 1000 μmol m−2 s−1 PAR, ranged between 1.3 μg C gdw−1 h−1 to 10 μg C gdw−1 h−1. All the eucalypt species measured were categorised as ‘medium’ isoprene emitters (1–10 μg C gdw−1 h−1). Total normalised monoterpene emission rates were of similar order of magnitude to isoprene or approximately one order of magnitude lower. The composition of the monoterpene emissions differed between the species and major compounds included eucalyptol, α-pinene, limonene and β-cis-ocimene. The emission rates presented here contribute the first data for further studies to quantify the potential impact on UK atmospheric composition, if there were widespread planting of eucalypts in the UK for bioenergy purposes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1309-1042
Additional Keywords: eucalyptus, biogenic VOCs (BVOC), pinene, eucalyptol, bioenergy, short-rotation coppice, air quality, ozone, SOA
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 03 Aug 2020 12:55 +0 (UTC)

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