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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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  25 Nov 2020

25 Nov 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

On-farm beef cattle methane emissions measured with tracer-ratio and inverse-dispersion modelling techniques

Mei Bai1, José I. Velazco2, Trevor W. Coates1, Frances A. Phillips3, Thomas K. Flesch4, Julian Hill5, David G. Mayer6, Nigel W. Tomkins7, Roger S. Hegarty2, and Deli Chen1 Mei Bai et al.
  • 1Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
  • 2University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
  • 3Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
  • 4Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, T6G 2E3, AB, Canada
  • 5Ternes Agricultural Consulting Pty Ltd, Upwey, VIC 3158, Australia
  • 6Agri-Science Queensland, Dutton Park, Qld 4102, Australia
  • 7CSIRO Agriculture, Australian Tropical Science and Innovation Precinct, James Cook University Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia

Abstract. The development and validation of management practices to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock requires accurate emission measurements. This study assessed the accuracy of a practical inverse dispersion (IDM) micrometeorological technique to quantify methane (CH4) emitted from a small cattle herd (16 animals) confined to a 63 × 60 m pen. The IDM technique calculates emissions from the increase in CH4 concentration measured downwind of the animals. Two types of open-path (OP) gas sensors were used to measure concentration in the IDM calculation: a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (IDM-FTIR) or a CH4 Laser (IDM-Laser). The actual cattle emission rate was given by a tracer-ratio technique using nitrous oxide as the tracer gas. We found very good agreement between the two IDM emission estimates (316 and 322 g CH4 head−1 d−1 for the IDM-FTIR and IDM-Laser, respectively) and the tracer-ratio measurements (315 g CH4 head−1 d−1). This study shows that a practical IDM measurement approach can provide an accurate method of estimating cattle emissions.

Mei Bai et al.

Status: open (until 02 Feb 2021)
Status: open (until 02 Feb 2021)
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Mei Bai et al.

Mei Bai et al.


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