NOx emissions from agricultural burning in São Paulo, Brazil

C Oppenheimer, VI Tsanev, Andrew Allen, AJS McGonigle, AA Cardoso, Antony Wiatr, W Paterlini, C de Mello Dias

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30 Citations (Scopus)


We report here on the application of a compact ultraviolet spectrometer to measurement of NO2 emissions from sugar cane field burns in Sao Paulo, Brazil, The time-resolved NO2 emission from a 10 ha plot peaked at about 240 g (NO2) s(-1), and amounted to a total yield of approximately 50 kg of N, or about 0.5 g (N) m(-2). Emission of N as NOx (i.e., NO + NO2) was estimated at 2.5 g (N) in 2, equivalent to 30% of applied fertilizer nitrogen. The corresponding annual emission of NOx nitrogen from Sao Paulo State sugar cane burning was >45 Gg N. In contrast to mechanized harvesting, which does not require prior burning of the crop, manual harvesting with burning acts to recycle nitrogen into surface soils and ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4557-4561
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


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