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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-410
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-410
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  17 Oct 2020

17 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Ethane measurement by Picarro CRDS G2201-i in laboratory and field conditions: potential and limitations

Sara M. Defratyka1, Jean-Daniel Paris1, Camille Yver-Kwok1, Daniel Loeb1,a, James France2,3, Jon Helmore4, Nigel Yarrow4, Valérie Gros1, and Philippe Bousquet1 Sara M. Defratyka et al.
  • 1Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l'environnement (LSCE-IPSL) CEA-CNRS-UVSQ Université Paris Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, 91191, France
  • 2Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, TW20 0EX, UK
  • 3British Antarctic Survey, NaturalEnvironment Research Council, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
  • 4National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Hampton Road, Teddington, TW11 0LW Middlesex, UK
  • anow at: Université Paris-Saclay, Orsay 91400, France

Abstract. Ethane can be used as a tracer gas to distinguish methane sources, both at the local and global scale. Currently, ethane can be successfully measured using flasks or dedicated in-situ analyzers. In our study, we consider the possibility of using the CRDS Picarro G2201-i instrument, dedicated to isotopic CH4 and CO2, for suitable measurements of ethane:methane ratio in mobile field, near-source conditions. Our work was divided into three steps. First, laboratory tests were run to characterize the instrument in stationary conditions. Then the instrument performance was tested in the field, as part of a controlled release experiment and finally during mobile measurements focused on gas compressor stations. The results from the field are compared with the results from other instruments, dedicated to ethane measurements. Our study clearly shows the potential of using the CRDS G2201-i instrument to determine the ethane:methane ratio in methane plumes in mobile condition with an ethane uncertainty of 50 ppb. Assuming typical ethane to methane ratio ranging between 0 and 0.1 ppb ppb−1 we conclude that the instrument can correctly estimate the “true” ethane to methane ratio within 1-sigma uncertainty in CH4 enhancements of 1 ppm or more as can be found in the vicinity of strongly emitting sites (such as natural gas compressor station).

Sara M. Defratyka et al.

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Sara M. Defratyka et al.

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Short summary
We consider the possibility of using the CRDS Picarro G2201-i instrument, dedicated to isotopic CH4 and CO2, for measurements of ethane:methane ratio in near-source conditions. Work divided into steps: laboratory tests, controlled release experiment, mobile measurements. Study shows the potential to determine the ethane:methane ratio with 50 ppb ethane uncertainty. The instrument can correctly estimate this ratio in CH4 enhancements of 1 ppm or more, as can be found on strongly emitting sites.
We consider the possibility of using the CRDS Picarro G2201-i instrument, dedicated to isotopic...
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