Mobile laboratory measurements of atmospheric emissions from agriculture, oil, and natural gas activities in northeastern Colorado

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Scott Joseph Eilerman1,2, Jeff Peischl1,2, J A Neuman1,2, Thomas B Ryerson1,2, Robert J Wild1,2, Anne Elizabeth Perring1,2, Steven S Brown3, Kenneth Aikin1,2, Maxwell Holloway1,4 and Owen Roberts2,4, (1)Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)NOAA Earth System Research Lab, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)NOAA Earth System Research Lab, Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO, United States, (4)Science and Technology Corporation, Boulder, CO, United States
Atmospheric emissions from agriculture are important to air quality and climate, yet their representation in inventories is incomplete. Increased fertilizer use has lead to increased emissions of nitrogen compounds, which can adversely affect ecosystems and contribute to the formation of fine particulates. Furthermore, extraction and processing of oil and natural gas continues to expand throughout northeastern Colorado; emissions from these operations require ongoing measurement and characterization. This presentation summarizes initial data and analysis from a summer 2014 campaign to study emissions of nitrogen compounds, methane, and other species in northeastern Colorado using a new mobile laboratory. A van was instrumented to measure NH3, N2O, NOx, NOy, CH4, CO, CO2, O3, and bioaerosols with high time resolution. By sampling in close proximity to a variety of emissions sources, the mobile laboratory facilitated accurate source identification and quantification of emissions ratios. Measurements were obtained near agricultural sites, natural gas and oil operations, and other point sources. Additionally, extensive measurements were obtained downwind from urban areas and along roadways. The relationship between ammonia and other trace gases is used to characterize sources and constrain emissions inventories.