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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci ; 379(2210): 20200457, 2021 Nov 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34565227


The causes of methane's renewed rise since 2007, accelerated growth from 2014 and record rise in 2020, concurrent with an isotopic shift to values more depleted in 13C, remain poorly understood. This rise is the dominant departure from greenhouse gas scenarios that limit global heating to less than 2°C. Thus a comprehensive understanding of methane sources and sinks, their trends and inter-annual variations are becoming more urgent. Efforts to quantify both sources and sinks and understand latitudinal and seasonal variations will improve our understanding of the methane cycle and its anthropogenic component. Nationally declared emissions inventories under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and promised contributions to emissions reductions under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement need to be verified independently by top-down observation. Furthermore, indirect effects on natural emissions, such as changes in aquatic ecosystems, also need to be quantified. Nitrous oxide is even more poorly understood. Despite this, options for mitigating methane and nitrous oxide emissions are improving rapidly, both in cutting emissions from gas, oil and coal extraction and use, and also from agricultural and waste sources. Reductions in methane and nitrous oxide emission are arguably among the most attractive immediate options for climate action. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Rising methane: is warming feeding warming? (part 1)'.

Waste Manag ; 132: 162-175, 2021 Aug 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34352589


Biological oxidation of methane in landfill cover material can be calculated from the carbon isotopic signature (δ13CCH4) of emitted CH4. Enhanced microbial consumption of methane in the aerobic portion of the landfill cover is indicated by a shift to heavier (less depleted) isotopic values in the residual methane emitted to air. This study was conducted at four landfill sites in southwest England. Measurement of CH4 using a mobile vehicle mounted instrument at the four sites was coupled with Flexfoil bag sampling of ambient air for high-precision isotope analysis. Gas well collection systems were sampled to estimate landfill oxidised proportion. Closed or active status, seasonal variation, cap stripping and site closure impact on landfill isotopic signature were also assessed. The δ13CCH4 values ranged from -60 to -54‰, with an average value of -57 ± 2‰. Methane emissions from active cells are more depleted in 13C than closed sites. Methane oxidation, estimated from the isotope fractionation, ranged from 2.6 to 38.2%, with mean values of 9.5% for active and 16.2% for closed landfills, indicating that oxidised proportion is highly site specific.

Poluentes Atmosféricos , Eliminação de Resíduos , Poluentes Atmosféricos/análise , Isótopos de Carbono , Metano/análise , Oxirredução , Reino Unido , Instalações de Eliminação de Resíduos
Waste Manag ; 124: 82-93, 2021 Apr 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33610114


The rising number of operational biogas plants in the UK brings a new emissions category to consider for methane monitoring, quantification and reduction. Minimising methane losses from biogas plants to the atmosphere is critical not only because of their contribution of methane to global warming but also with respect to the sustainability of renewable energy production. Mobile greenhouse gas surveys were conducted to detect plumes of methane emissions from the biogas plants in southern England that varied in their size, waste feed input materials and biogas utilization. Gaussian plume modelling was used to estimate total emissions of methane from ten biogas plants based on repeat passes through the plumes. Methane emission rates ranged from 0.1 to 58.7 kg CH4 hr-1, and the percentage of losses relative to the calculated production rate varied between 0.02 and 8.1%. The average emission rate was 15.9 kg CH4 hr-1, and the average loss was 3.7%. In general, methane emission rates from smaller farm biogas plants were higher than from larger food waste biogas plants. We also suggest that biogas methane emissions may account for between 0.4 and 3.8%, with an average being 1.9% of the total methane emissions in the UK excluding the sewage sludge biogas plants.

Metano , Eliminação de Resíduos , Biocombustíveis , Inglaterra , Alimentos , Metano/análise , Reino Unido
Sci Total Environ ; 708: 134600, 2020 Mar 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31767337


Baseline mobile surveys of methane sources using vehicle-mounted instruments have been performed in the Fylde and Ryedale regions of Northern England over the 2016-19 period around proposed unconventional (shale) gas extraction sites. The aim was to identify and characterise methane sources ahead of hydraulically fractured shale gas extraction in the area around drilling sites. This allows a potential additional source of emissions to atmosphere to be readily distinguished from adjacent sources, should gas production take place. The surveys have used ethane:methane (C2:C1) ratios to separate combustion, thermogenic gas and biogenic sources. Sample collection of source plumes followed by high precision δ13C analysis of methane, to separate and isotopically characterise sources, adds additional biogenic source distinction between active and closed landfills, and ruminant eructations from manure. The surveys show that both drill sites and adjacent fixed monitoring sites have cow barns and gas network pipeline leaks as sources of methane within a 1 km range. These two sources are readily separated by isotopes (δ13C of -67 to -58‰ for barns, compared to -43 to -39‰ for gas leaks), and ethane:methane ratios (<0.001 for barns, compared to >0.05 for gas leaks). Under a well-mixed daytime atmospheric boundary layer these sources are generally detectable as above baseline elevations up to 100 m downwind for gas leaks and up to 500 m downwind for populated cow barns. It is considered that careful analysis of these proxies for unconventional production gas, if and when available, will allow any fugitive emissions from operations to be distinguished from surrounding sources.

Sci Rep ; 5: 15996, 2015 Nov 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26530701


Coal seam gas (CSG) production can have an impact on groundwater quality and quantity in adjacent or overlying aquifers. To assess this impact we need to determine the background groundwater chemistry and to map geological pathways of hydraulic connectivity between aquifers. In south-east Queensland (Qld), Australia, a globally important CSG exploration and production province, we mapped hydraulic connectivity between the Walloon Coal Measures (WCM, the target formation for gas production) and the overlying Condamine River Alluvial Aquifer (CRAA), using groundwater methane (CH4) concentration and isotopic composition (δ(13)C-CH4), groundwater tritium ((3)H) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration. A continuous mobile CH4 survey adjacent to CSG developments was used to determine the source signature of CH4 derived from the WCM. Trends in groundwater δ(13)C-CH4 versus CH4 concentration, in association with DOC concentration and (3)H analysis, identify locations where CH4 in the groundwater of the CRAA most likely originates from the WCM. The methodology is widely applicable in unconventional gas development regions worldwide for providing an early indicator of geological pathways of hydraulic connectivity.