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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-108
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-108
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  23 Jul 2020

23 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Use of an Unmanned Aircraft System to Quantify NOx Emissions from a Natural Gas Boiler

Brian Gullett1, Johanna Aurell2, William Mitchell1, and Jennifer Richardson3 Brian Gullett et al.
  • 1US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 27711, USA
  • 2University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio, 45469-7532, USA
  • 3The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan, 48667, USA

Abstract. Aerial emission sampling of four natural gas boiler stack plumes was conducted using an unmanned aerial system (UAS) equipped with a light-weight sensor/sampling system (the “Kolibri”) for measurement of nitrogen oxide (NO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), and carbon monoxide (CO). Flights (n = 22) ranged from 11 to 24 minutes duration at two different sites. The UAS was maneuvered into the plumes with the aid of real-time CO2 telemetry to the ground operators and, at one location, a second UAS equipped with an infrared/visible camera. Concentrations were collected and recorded at 1 Hz. The maximum CO2, CO, NO, and NO2 concentrations in the plume measured were 10,000 ppm, 7 ppm, 27 ppm, and 1.5 ppm, respectively. Comparison of the NOx emissions between the stack continuous emission monitoring systems and the UAS/Kolibri for three boiler sets showed an average of 5.6 % and 3.5 % relative percent difference for the run-weighted and carbon-weighted average emissions, respectively.

Brian Gullett et al.

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Brian Gullett et al.

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Short summary
Aerial emission sampling of four natural gas boiler stack plumes was conducted using an unmanned aerial system (UAS) equipped with a light-weight sensor/sampling system for pollutant measurements. The results were compared with simultaneous measurements on the stack using conventional gas extraction methods. The emission values between the two methods varied by less than 6 %. This work demonstrated a method for estimating emissions while eliminating the worker risks of stack sampling.
Aerial emission sampling of four natural gas boiler stack plumes was conducted using an unmanned...
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