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Environmentally persistent free radicals are ubiquitous in wildfire charcoals and remain stable for years

Gabriel Sigmund, Cristina Santin Nuno, Marc Pignitter, Nathalie Tepe, Stefan Doerr Orcid Logo, Thilo Hofmann

Communications Earth & Environment, Volume: 2, Issue: 1

Swansea University Authors: Cristina Santin Nuno, Stefan Doerr Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Globally landscape fires produce about 256 Tg of pyrogenic carbon or charcoal each year. The role of charcoal as a source of environmentally persistent free radicals, which are precursors of potentially harmful reactive oxygen species, is poorly constrained. Here, we analyse 60 charcoal samples coll...

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Published in: Communications Earth & Environment
ISSN: 2662-4435
Published: Springer Science and Business Media LLC 2021
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa56612
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first_indexed 2021-04-01T08:54:30Z
last_indexed 2023-01-11T14:35:56Z
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spelling 2022-07-07T14:17:47.3031369 v2 56612 2021-04-01 Environmentally persistent free radicals are ubiquitous in wildfire charcoals and remain stable for years 993c82cbaf875c1268156360e83c4dfd Cristina Santin Nuno Cristina Santin Nuno true false 575eb5094f2328249328b3e43deb5088 0000-0002-8700-9002 Stefan Doerr Stefan Doerr true false 2021-04-01 FGSEN Globally landscape fires produce about 256 Tg of pyrogenic carbon or charcoal each year. The role of charcoal as a source of environmentally persistent free radicals, which are precursors of potentially harmful reactive oxygen species, is poorly constrained. Here, we analyse 60 charcoal samples collected from 10 wildfires, that include crown as well as surface fires in forest, shrubland and grassland spanning different boreal, temperate, subtropical and tropical climate. Using electron spin resonance spectroscopy, we measure high concentrations of environmentally persistent free radicals in charcoal samples, much higher than those found in soils. Concentrations increased with degree of carbonization and woody fuels favoured higher concentrations. Moreover, environmentally persistent free radicals remained stable for an unexpectedly long time of at least 5 years. We suggest that wildfire charcoal is an important global source of environmentally persistent free radicals, and therefore potentially of harmful reactive oxygen species. Journal Article Communications Earth & Environment 2 1 Springer Science and Business Media LLC 2662-4435 26 3 2021 2021-03-26 10.1038/s43247-021-00138-2 COLLEGE NANME Science and Engineering - Faculty COLLEGE CODE FGSEN Swansea University C.S. and S.H.D. acknowledge funding by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (Grant NE/R011125/1). This article was supported by the Open Access Publishing Fund of the University of Vienna. 2022-07-07T14:17:47.3031369 2021-04-01T09:53:38.9467248 Faculty of Science and Engineering School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics - Geography Gabriel Sigmund 1 Cristina Santin Nuno 2 Marc Pignitter 3 Nathalie Tepe 4 Stefan Doerr 0000-0002-8700-9002 5 Thilo Hofmann 6 56612__19762__f3e1a3c3d81641ebba6417c1a85104ec.pdf 56612.pdf 2021-04-27T10:26:08.8227395 Output 847144 application/pdf Version of Record true © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License true eng http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
title Environmentally persistent free radicals are ubiquitous in wildfire charcoals and remain stable for years
spellingShingle Environmentally persistent free radicals are ubiquitous in wildfire charcoals and remain stable for years
Cristina Santin Nuno
Stefan Doerr
title_short Environmentally persistent free radicals are ubiquitous in wildfire charcoals and remain stable for years
title_full Environmentally persistent free radicals are ubiquitous in wildfire charcoals and remain stable for years
title_fullStr Environmentally persistent free radicals are ubiquitous in wildfire charcoals and remain stable for years
title_full_unstemmed Environmentally persistent free radicals are ubiquitous in wildfire charcoals and remain stable for years
title_sort Environmentally persistent free radicals are ubiquitous in wildfire charcoals and remain stable for years
author_id_str_mv 993c82cbaf875c1268156360e83c4dfd
575eb5094f2328249328b3e43deb5088
author_id_fullname_str_mv 993c82cbaf875c1268156360e83c4dfd_***_Cristina Santin Nuno
575eb5094f2328249328b3e43deb5088_***_Stefan Doerr
author Cristina Santin Nuno
Stefan Doerr
author2 Gabriel Sigmund
Cristina Santin Nuno
Marc Pignitter
Nathalie Tepe
Stefan Doerr
Thilo Hofmann
format Journal article
container_title Communications Earth & Environment
container_volume 2
container_issue 1
publishDate 2021
institution Swansea University
issn 2662-4435
doi_str_mv 10.1038/s43247-021-00138-2
publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
college_str Faculty of Science and Engineering
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hierarchy_top_id facultyofscienceandengineering
hierarchy_top_title Faculty of Science and Engineering
hierarchy_parent_id facultyofscienceandengineering
hierarchy_parent_title Faculty of Science and Engineering
department_str School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics - Geography{{{_:::_}}}Faculty of Science and Engineering{{{_:::_}}}School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics - Geography
document_store_str 1
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description Globally landscape fires produce about 256 Tg of pyrogenic carbon or charcoal each year. The role of charcoal as a source of environmentally persistent free radicals, which are precursors of potentially harmful reactive oxygen species, is poorly constrained. Here, we analyse 60 charcoal samples collected from 10 wildfires, that include crown as well as surface fires in forest, shrubland and grassland spanning different boreal, temperate, subtropical and tropical climate. Using electron spin resonance spectroscopy, we measure high concentrations of environmentally persistent free radicals in charcoal samples, much higher than those found in soils. Concentrations increased with degree of carbonization and woody fuels favoured higher concentrations. Moreover, environmentally persistent free radicals remained stable for an unexpectedly long time of at least 5 years. We suggest that wildfire charcoal is an important global source of environmentally persistent free radicals, and therefore potentially of harmful reactive oxygen species.
published_date 2021-03-26T04:07:23Z
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