Isotope Analyzer for Real-Time Measurements in the Field
This project will use spectroscopy technology to develop, deploy and test a field-portable methane isotope analyzer for measurements of carbon isotope ratios and methane concentrations in ambient air. This instrument will be capable of providing in-situ, accurate, quantification of both methane concentration and carbon isotope ratio for real-time monitoring of methane sources and sinks in the biosphere and atmosphere (e.g., in landfills, wetlands, rice growing facilities, urban environments, geological formations). It will distinguish between biogenic and injected carbon sources, and identify, and subsequently capture, fugitive methane emissions. This project will build, test, and deploy a novel prototype instrument capable of real-time measurements of methane isotopomers in ambient air. The Phase I project successfully designed, developed, and demonstrated a prototype instrument that measured methane concentration and the carbon isotopic ratio in ambient methane with great precision. Several improvements to the Phase I instrumentation design were identified and will be included in the Phase II field instrument to enable isotope ratio measurements with substantially better precision. The Phase II project will construct, deploy, and rigorously test, a novel, easy-to-use, methane isotope analyzer for real-time measurements of carbon isotope ratio in ambient methane. It will demonstrate the performance and ruggedness of the instrument at several locations including landfills (California, Florida), wetlands (Alabama), a rice research site (Louisiana), urban environments (Pennsylvania), and a coal mine (Virginia). Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The development of a robust field-portable methane isotope analyzer will find uses in landfills, wetlands, oil and gas exploration, and environmental research.
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Los Gatos Research
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