3 years ago

Atmospheric modeling to assess wind dependence in tracer dilution method measurements of landfill methane emissions

Atmospheric modeling to assess wind dependence in tracer dilution method measurements of landfill methane emissions
The short-term temporal variability of landfill methane emissions is not well understood due to uncertainty in measurement methods. Significant variability is seen over short-term measurement campaigns with the tracer dilution method (TDM), but this variability may be due in part to measurement error rather than fluctuations in the actual landfill emissions. In this study, landfill methane emissions and TDM−measured emissions are simulated over a real landfill in Delaware, USA using the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) for two emissions scenarios. In the steady emissions scenario, a constant landfill emissions rate is prescribed at each model grid point on the surface of the landfill. In the unsteady emissions scenario, emissions are calculated at each time step as a function of the local surface wind speed, resulting in variable emissions over each 1.5-h measurement period. The simulation output is used to assess the standard deviation and percent error of the TDM−measured emissions. Eight measurement periods are simulated over two different days to look at different conditions. Results show that standard deviation of the TDM- measured emissions does not increase significantly from the steady emissions simulations to the unsteady emissions scenarios, indicating that the TDM may have inherent errors in its prediction of emissions fluctuations. Results also show that TDM error does not increase significantly from the steady to the unsteady emissions simulations. This indicates that introducing variability to the landfill emissions does not increase errors in the TDM at this site. Across all simulations, TDM errors range from −15% to 43%, consistent with the range of errors seen in previous TDM studies. Simulations indicate diurnal variations of methane emissions when wind effects are significant, which may be important when developing daily and annual emissions estimates from limited field data.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0956053X17307821

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