Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Robert Eninger, PhD.


Emissions were characterized and compared from the open burning of four compositions of Meals, Ready-To-Eat (MRE) and four types of MRE fiberboard packaging in response to inhalation concerns at military forward operating bases. Measurements of particulate matter (PM2.5, PM10) showed that MREs account for 70-90 percent of PM emissions when burned in unison with the current fiberboard container and liner and that PM2.5 constitutes a vast majority of the particulates emitted. Targeted replacement of MRE constituents may be more effective in reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emissions than the variation of fiberboard packaging designs, while polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxin and -furan (PCDD/PCDF) emissions are believed to be more closely related to other components of a military waste stream. MRE and fiberboard types each respectively produced equivalent PM, PAH, VOC, and PCDD/PCDF emission factors. This study provides the first representative characterization of open burning emissions associated with military rations separate from comprehensive military waste streams.

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