Aircraft-Based AirCore Sampling for Estimates of N<sub>2</sub>O and CH<sub>4</sub> Emissions

Xin Tong, Steven van Heuven, Bert Scheeren, Bert Kers, Ronald Hutjes, Huilin Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Airborne measurements offer an effective way to quantify urban emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). However, it may be challenging due to the requirement of high measurement precision and sufficiently enhanced signals. We developed a new active AirCore system based on the previous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) version, which is capable of sampling atmospheric air for several hours aboard a lightweight aircraft for postflight simultaneous and continuous measurements of N2O, CH4, CO2, and CO. We performed 13 flights over the urban areas of Groningen, Utrecht, and Rotterdam and evaluated the aircraft-based AirCore measurements against in situ continuous CH4 measurements. One flight was selected for each of the three urban areas to quantify the emissions of N2O and CH4. Compared to the Dutch inventory, the estimated N2O emissions (364 ± 143 kg h–1) from the Rotterdam area are ∼3 times larger, whereas those for Groningen (95 ± 90 kg h–1) and Utrecht (32 ± 16 kg h–1) are not significantly different. The estimated CH4 emissions for all three urban areas (Groningen: 2534 ± 1774 kg CH4 hr–1, Utrecht: 1440 ± 628 kg CH4 hr–1, and Rotterdam: 2419 ± 922 kg CH4 hr–1) are not significantly different from the Dutch inventory. The innovative aircraft-based active AirCore sampling system provides a robust means of high-precision and continuous measurements of multiple gas species, which is useful for quantifying GHG emissions from urban areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15571-15579
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental science & technology
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - 17-Oct-2023

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