Cygnus Environmental Group

Louisville, KY, United States

Cygnus Environmental Group

Louisville, KY, United States
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Foster-Wittig T.A.,Duke University | Thoma E.D.,National Risk Management Research Laboratory | Green R.B.,Waste Management Inc. | Hater G.R.,Waste Management Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2015

A standardized version of a mobile tracer correlation measurement method was developed and used for assessment of methane emissions from 15 landfills in 56 field deployments from 2009 to 2013. Using cavity ring-down spectroscopy and acetylene tracer gas, this method has potential implementation and cost advantages over other mobile tracer correlation approaches. The field deployment, data acquisition and analysis procedures, and a range of use conditions are discussed. To test real-world method application, the field studies were conducted by engineering technician-level personnel under randomly-encountered daytime atmospheric conditions. A total of 1876 mobile tracer correlation measurement transects were attempted over 131 field sampling days. Of these, 1366 transect (73%) were successfully completed and passed basic data acceptance criteria as valid measurement attempts. Invalid data were caused primarily by equipment failures, transect execution errors, or poor plume transport conditions. Valid transects were further analyzed using signal-to-noise ratio, plume correlation, and emission rate difference method quality indicators described here. Encountered scenarios that can result in high emission measurement uncertainty or bias are discussed in term of these indicators. Reasonable values for the acceptance levels of the method quality indicators that help protect against method errors and reduce measurement noise are discussed. The application of a default indicator set to the valid data yield 456 transects (33%) that pass data acceptance criteria. Transects that fail were associated with insufficient advected plume transport, poor correlation between the tracer and source plumes, and potential emissions pooling conditions. © 2014.

Footer T.L.,Eastern Research Group | Thoma E.D.,National Risk Management Research Laboratory | Stevens W.R.,National Risk Management Research Laboratory | DeWees J.M.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | And 3 more authors.
Air and Waste Management Association - Air Quality Measurement Methods and Technology Conference 2012 | Year: 2012

The GMAP-REQ-TC method under development is a variation of general tracer correlation techniques that provides whole-facility emission rate measurements from landfills and other areas sources. For sources like landfills, which are both large in extent and possess spatially heterogeneous emissions, it can be difficult to piece together many on-site measurements to provide a complete picture of emissions. Whole-facility measurement approaches like GMAP-REQ-TC provide a measure of emissions that complement on-site approaches and are comparatively easy to execute. The current embodiment of GMAP-REQ-TC, based on CRDS systems, is proving to be reliable and cost-efficient in real-world trials and is continuing to be used in ongoing work. Although, some aspects of the method are still being developed, preliminary results show potential for the approach to characterize whole-facility landfill CH4 emission rates and may be applicable to other area source measurement challenges.

Chanton J.,Florida State University | Langford C.,Florida State University | Goldsmith D.,Alternative Natural Technologies Inc. | Swan N.,Cygnus Environmental Group
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2011

Methane oxidation in landfill covers was determined by stable isotope analyses over 37 seasonal sampling events at 20 landfills with intermediate covers over four years. Values were calculated two ways: by assuming no isotopic fractionation during gas transport, which produces a conservative or minimum estimate, and by assuming limited isotopic fractionation with gas transport producing a higher estimate. Thus bracketed, the best assessment of mean oxidation within the soil covers from chamber captured emitted CH4 was 37.5 ± 3.5%. The fraction of CH4 oxidized refers to the fraction of CH4 delivered to the base of the cover that was oxidized to CO2 and partitioned to microbial biomass instead of being emitted to the atmosphere as CH4 expressed as a percentage. Air samples were also collected at the surface of the landfill, and represent CH4 from soil, from leaking infrastructure, and from cover defects. A similar assessment of this data set yields 36.1 ± 7.2% oxidation. Landfills in five climate types were investigated. The fraction oxidized in arid sites was significantly greater than oxidation in mediterranean sites, or cool and warm continental sites. Sub tropical sites had significantly lower CH4 oxidation than the other types of sites. This relationship may be explained by the observed inverse relationship between cover loading and fractional CH4 oxidation. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Thoma E.D.,National Risk Management Research Laboratory | Goldsmith C.D.,Alternative Natural Technologies Inc. | Swan N.D.,Cygnus Environmental Group | Chase M.J.,ENVIRON International Corporation | Hashmonay R.A.,ENVIRON International Corporation
Journal of Environmental Engineering | Year: 2010

In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency posted a new test method on its website called Other Test Method 10 (OTM 10) which describes direct measurement of pollutant mass emission flux from area sources using ground-based optical remote sensing. The method has validated application to relatively small bounded area sources but additional guidance is needed for large area sources, such as landfills, where the emission zone can exceed the size of optical configuration leading to difficulties in relating measured fluxes to emissions per unit area. This paper presents the findings of a series of tracer-release experiments designed to improve the understanding of OTM 10 in landfill applications. OTM 10 plume capture efficiency data acquired at a variety of landfill sites under a range of meteorological conditions and measurement configurations are presented. Experiments indicate an overall capture efficiency factor of 0.81 with a standard deviation of 0.33. Lower capture efficiencies from side slope releases are noted (0.69). The combined data set is analyzed for factors influencing capture efficiency. A multiple linear regression is used to model the capture efficiency as a function of primary parameters including distance of the tracer release from the observing plane and wind speed. A simplified model based on the regression analysis is described and its use for approximating the area contributing to flux is presented. © 2010 ASCE.

Abichou T.,Florida State University | Clark J.,Florida State University | Tan S.,Picarro Inc. | Chanton J.,Florida State University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association | Year: 2010

Landfills represent a source of distributed emissions source over an irregular and heterogeneous surface. In the method termed "Other Test Method-10" (OTM-10), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a method to quantify emissions from such sources by the use of vertical radial plume mapping (VRPM) techniques combined with measurement of wind speed to determine the average emission flux per unit area per time from nonpoint sources. In such application, the VRPM is used as a tool to estimate the mass of the gas of interest crossing a vertical plane. This estimation is done by fitting the field-measured concentration spatial data to a Gaussian or some other distribution to define a plume crossing the vertical plane. When this technique is applied to landfill surfaces, the VRPM plane may be within the emitting source area itself. The objective of this study was to investigate uncertainties associated with using OTM-10 for landfills. The spatial variability of emission in the emitting domain can lead to uncertainties of -34 to 190% in the measured flux value when idealistic scenarios were simulated. The level of uncertainty might be higher when the number and locations of emitting sources are not known (typical field conditions). The level of uncertainty can be reduced by improving the layout of the VRPM plane in the field in accordance with an initial survey of the emission patterns. The change in wind direction during an OTM-10 testing setup can introduce an uncertainty of 20% of the measured flux value. This study also provides estimates of the area contributing to flux (ACF) to be used in conjunction with OTM-10 procedures. The estimate of ACF is a function of the atmospheric stability class and has an uncertainty of 10-30%. Copyright 2010 Air & Waste Management Association.

Abichou T.,Florida State University | Clark J.,Florida State University | Chanton J.,Florida State University | Hater G.,Waste Management Inc. | And 4 more authors.
Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association | Year: 2012

In the method termed "Other Test Method-10," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a method to quantify emissions from nonpoint sources by the use of vertical radial plume mapping (VRPM) technique. The surface area of the emitting source and the degree to which the different zones of the emitting source are contributing to the VRPM computed emissions are often unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate and present an approach to quantify the unknown emitting surface area that is contributing to VRPM measured emissions. Currently a preexisting model known as the "multiple linear regression model," which is described in Thoma et al. (2009), is used for quantifying the unknown surface area.The method investigated and presented in this paper utilized tracer tests to collect data and develop a model much like that described in Thoma et al. (2009). However, unlike the study used for development of the multiple linear regression model, this study is considered a very limited study due to the low number of pollutant releases performed (seven total releases). It was found through this limited study that the location of an emitting source impacts VRPM computed emissions exponentially, rather than linearly (i.e., the impact that an emitting source has on VRPM measurements decreases exponentially with increasing distances between the emitting source and the VRPM plane). The data from the field tracer tests were used to suggest a multiple exponential regression model. The findings of this study, however, are based on a very small number of tracer tests. More tracer tests performed during all types of climatic conditions, terrain conditions, and different emissions geometries are still needed to better understand the variation of capture efficiency with emitting source location. This study provides a step toward such an objective.The findings of this study will aid in the advancement of the VRPM technique. In particular, the contribution of this study is to propose a slight improvement in how the area contributing to flux is determined during VRPM campaigns. This will reduce some of the technique's inherent uncertainties when it is employed to estimate emissions from an area source under nonideal conditions. © 2012 Copyright 2012 A& WMA.

Goldsmith Jr. C.D.,Alternative Natural Technologies Inc. | Chanton J.,Florida State University | Abichou T.,Florida State University | Swan N.,Cygnus Environmental Group | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association | Year: 2012

Landfill fugitive methane emissions were quantified as a function of climate type and cover type at 20 landfills using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Other Test Method (OTM)-10 vertical radial plume mapping (VRPM) with tunable diode lasers (TDLs). The VRPM data were initially collected as g CH4/sec emission rates and subsequently converted to g CH4/m2/day rates using two recently published approaches. The first was based upon field tracer releases of methane or acetylene and multiple linear regression analysis (MLRM). The second was a virtual computer model that was based upon the Industrial Source Complex (ISC3) and Pasquill plume stability class models (PSCMs). Calculated emission results in g CH4/m2/day for each measured VRPM with the two approaches agreed well (r2 = 0.93). The VRPM data were obtained from the working face, temporary soil, intermediate soil, and final soil or synthetic covers. The data show that methane emissions to the atmosphere are a function of climate and cover type. Humid subtropical climates exhibited the highest emissions for all cover types at 207, 127, 102, and 32 g CH4/m2/day, for working face (no cover), temporary, intermediate, and final cover, respectively. Humid continental warm summers showed 67, 51, and 27 g CH4/m2/day for temporary, intermediate, and final covers. Humid continental cool summers were 135, 40, and 26 g CH4/m2/day for the working face, intermediate, and final covers. Mediterranean climates were examined for intermediate and final covers only and found to be 11 and 6 g CH4/m2/day, respectively, whereas semiarid climates showed 85, 11, 3.7, and 2.7 g CH4/m2/day for working face, temporary, intermediate, and final covers. A closed, synthetically capped landfill covered with soil and vegetation with a gas collection system in a humid continental warm summer climate gave mostly background methane readings and average emission rates of only 0.09 g CH4/m2/day flux when measurable. Implications: The OTM-10 method is being proposed by EPA to quantify surface methane emissions from landfill covers. This study of 20 landfills across the United States was done to determine the efficacy of using OTM-10 for this purpose. Two recently published models were used to evaluate the methane flux results found with VRPM optical remote sensing. The results should provide a sense of the practicality of the method, its limitations at landfills, and the impact of climate upon the cover's methane flux. Measured field data may assist landfill owners in refining previously modeled methane emission factor default values. © 2012 Copyright 2012 A&WMA.

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