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Environ Sci Technol ; 2020 Jul 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32633497


This study derives methane emission rates from 92 airborne observations collected over 23 facilities including 5 refineries, 10 landfills, 4 wastewater treatment plants (POTWs), 2 composting operations, and 2 dairies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Emission rates are measured using an airborne mass-balance technique from a low-flying aircraft. Annual measurement-based sectorwide methane emissions are 19,000 ± 2300 Mg for refineries, 136,700 ± 25,900 Mg for landfills, 11,900 ± 1,500 Mg for POTWs, and 11,100 ± 3,400 Mg for composting. The average of measured emissions for each refinery ranges from 4 to 23 times larger than the corresponding emissions reported to regulatory agencies, while measurement-derived landfill and POTW estimates are approximately twice the current inventory estimates. Significant methane emissions at composting facilities indicate that a California mandate to divert organics from landfills to composting may not be an effective measure for mitigating methane emissions unless best management practices are instituted at composting facilities. Complementary evidence from airborne remote sensing imagery indicates atmospheric venting from refinery hydrogen plants, landfill working surfaces, composting stockpiles, etc., to be among the specific source types responsible for the observed discrepancies. This work highlights the value of multiple measurement approaches to accurately estimate facility-scale methane emissions and perform source attribution at subfacility scales to guide and verify effective mitigation policy and action.

Nature ; 575(7781): 180-184, 2019 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31695210


Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and is targeted for emissions mitigation by the US state of California and other jurisdictions worldwide1,2. Unique opportunities for mitigation are presented by point-source emitters-surface features or infrastructure components that are typically less than 10 metres in diameter and emit plumes of highly concentrated methane3. However, data on point-source emissions are sparse and typically lack sufficient spatial and temporal resolution to guide their mitigation and to accurately assess their magnitude4. Here we survey more than 272,000 infrastructure elements in California using an airborne imaging spectrometer that can rapidly map methane plumes5-7. We conduct five campaigns over several months from 2016 to 2018, spanning the oil and gas, manure-management and waste-management sectors, resulting in the detection, geolocation and quantification of emissions from 564 strong methane point sources. Our remote sensing approach enables the rapid and repeated assessment of large areas at high spatial resolution for a poorly characterized population of methane emitters that often appear intermittently and stochastically. We estimate net methane point-source emissions in California to be 0.618 teragrams per year (95 per cent confidence interval 0.523-0.725), equivalent to 34-46 per cent of the state's methane inventory8 for 2016. Methane 'super-emitter' activity occurs in every sector surveyed, with 10 per cent of point sources contributing roughly 60 per cent of point-source emissions-consistent with a study of the US Four Corners region that had a different sectoral mix9. The largest methane emitters in California are a subset of landfills, which exhibit persistent anomalous activity. Methane point-source emissions in California are dominated by landfills (41 per cent), followed by dairies (26 per cent) and the oil and gas sector (26 per cent). Our data have enabled the identification of the 0.2 per cent of California's infrastructure that is responsible for these emissions. Sharing these data with collaborating infrastructure operators has led to the mitigation of anomalous methane-emission activity10.

Monitoramento Ambiental , Metano/análise , Gerenciamento de Resíduos , California , Efeito Estufa , Esterco , Metano/química , Metano/metabolismo , Gás Natural , Indústria de Petróleo e Gás/métodos , Petróleo , Águas Residuárias
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(35): 9734-9, 2016 08 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27528660


Methane (CH4) impacts climate as the second strongest anthropogenic greenhouse gas and air quality by influencing tropospheric ozone levels. Space-based observations have identified the Four Corners region in the Southwest United States as an area of large CH4 enhancements. We conducted an airborne campaign in Four Corners during April 2015 with the next-generation Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (near-infrared) and Hyperspectral Thermal Emission Spectrometer (thermal infrared) imaging spectrometers to better understand the source of methane by measuring methane plumes at 1- to 3-m spatial resolution. Our analysis detected more than 250 individual methane plumes from fossil fuel harvesting, processing, and distributing infrastructures, spanning an emission range from the detection limit [Formula: see text] 2 kg/h to 5 kg/h through [Formula: see text] 5,000 kg/h. Observed sources include gas processing facilities, storage tanks, pipeline leaks, and well pads, as well as a coal mine venting shaft. Overall, plume enhancements and inferred fluxes follow a lognormal distribution, with the top 10% emitters contributing 49 to 66% to the inferred total point source flux of 0.23 Tg/y to 0.39 Tg/y. With the observed confirmation of a lognormal emission distribution, this airborne observing strategy and its ability to locate previously unknown point sources in real time provides an efficient and effective method to identify and mitigate major emissions contributors over a wide geographic area. With improved instrumentation, this capability scales to spaceborne applications [Thompson DR, et al. (2016) Geophys Res Lett 43(12):6571-6578]. Further illustration of this potential is demonstrated with two detected, confirmed, and repaired pipeline leaks during the campaign.