Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-347
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-347

  07 Jan 2022

07 Jan 2022

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

Performance of open-path lasers and FTIR spectroscopic systems in agriculture emissions research

Mei Bai1, Zoe Loh2, David W. T. Griffith3, Debra Turner1, Richard Eckard1, Robert Edis1, Owen T. Denmeada,, Glenn W. Bryant3, Clare Paton-Walsh3, Matthew Tonini3, Sean M. McGinn4, and Deli Chen1 Mei Bai et al.
  • 1Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
  • 2CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, PMB 1, Aspendale, VIC 3195, Australia
  • 3School of Chemistry &Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Wollongong Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
  • 4Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
  • aformerly at: CSIRO Agriculture and Food, GPO Box 1666, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
  • deceased

Abstract. The accumulation of gases into our atmosphere is a growing global concern that requires considerable quantification of the emission rates and mitigate the accumulation of gases in the atmosphere, especially the greenhouse gases (GHG). In agriculture there are many sources of GHG that require attention in order to develop practical mitigation strategies. Measuring these GHG sources often rely on highly technical instrumentation originally designed for applications outside of the emissions research in agriculture. Although the open-path laser (OPL) and open-path Fourier transform infrared (OP-FTIR) spectroscopic techniques are used in agricultural research currently, insight into their contributing error to emissions research has not been the focus of these studies. The objective of this study was to assess the applicability and performance (accuracy and precision) of OPL and OP-FTIR spectroscopic techniques for measuring gas concentration from agricultural sources. We measured the mixing ratios of trace gases methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and ammonia (NH3), downwind of point and area sources with known release rates. The OP-FTIR provided the best performance regarding stability of drift in stable conditions. The CH4 OPL accurately detected the low background (free-air) level of CH4; however, the NH3 OPL was unable to detect the background values < 10 ppbv.

Mei Bai et al.

Status: open (until 11 Feb 2022)

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Mei Bai et al.

Mei Bai et al.

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Short summary
The open-path laser (OPL) and OP-FTIR are currently used in agricultural research, but their contributing error to emissions research has not been the focus of these studies. We conducted gas release trials and compared the applicability and performance (accuracy and precision) for measuring gas mixing ratios. The OP-FTIR has better stability in stable conditions than OPL. The CH4 OPL accurately detected the low background level of CH4 but the NH3 OPL detected the background values > 10 ppbv.