Measurements of ambient volatile organic carbons in rural, urban and areas with oil and gas activity in North Dakota

Monday, 15 December 2014
Arsineh Hecobian1, Anthony J Prenni2, Derek Day1, Yong Zhou1, Barkley C Sive3, Bret A Schichtel4 and Jeffrey Lee Collett Jr1, (1)Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, United States, (2)National Park Service Lakewood, Lakewood, CO, United States, (3)National Park Service Denver, Denver, CO, United States, (4)National Park Service Fort Collins, Air Resources Division, Fort Collins, CO, United States
Recent increases in oil and gas extraction activities and well counts in North Dakota have raised questions on the ambient impact of the emissions from these processes. A Chevy Tahoe SUV was equipped with a PICARRO G2203 analyzer to measure methane and acetylene, a PICARRO A0941 mobile kit to measure GPS coordinates, an AethLabs micro-aethalometer to measure black carbon concentrations and a Radiance Research nephelometer to measure light scattering coefficient values. The SUV was used as a mobile platform to drive through different locations in North Dakota and measure the compounds noted above and also collect ambient air samples. The methane and acetylene concentrations were used to identify areas of interest, where evacuated stainless steel canisters were used to collect air samples and then transported to the laboratory where a three gas chromatograph system equipped with two flame ionization detectors (FID), two electron capture detectors (ECD), and a mass spectrometer (MS) was used to measure various VOC concentrations. The results from these measurements will be discussed here with an emphasis on the differences between rural and urban areas and locations with high instances oil and gas activities.