Quantifying CH 4 emissions from hard coal mines using mobile sun-viewing Fourier transform spectrometry

Luther, Andreas; Kleinschek, Ralph; Scheidweiler, Leon; Defratyka, Sara; Stanisavljevic, Mila; Forstmaier, Andreas; Dandocsi, Alexandru; Wolff, Sebastian; Dubravica, Darko; Wildmann, Norman; Kostinek, Julian; Jöckel, Patrick; Nickl, Anna-Leah; Klausner, Theresa; Hase, Frank; Frey, Matthias; Chen, Jia; Dietrich, Florian; Nȩcki, Jarosław; Swolkień, Justyna; Fix, Andreas; Roiger, Anke; Butz, André

Methane (inline-formulaCH4) emissions from coal production amount to roughly one-third of European anthropogenic inline-formulaCH4 emissions in the atmosphere. Poland is the largest hard coal producer in the European Union with the Polish side of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB) as the main part of it. Emission estimates for inline-formulaCH4 from the USCB for individual coal mine ventilation shafts range between 0.03 and 20 kt ainline-formula−1, amounting to a basin total of roughly 440 kt ainline-formula−1 according to the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR, urihttp://prtr.ec.europa.eu/, 2014). We mounted a ground-based, portable, sun-viewing FTS (Fourier transform spectrometer) on a truck for sampling coal mine ventilation plumes by driving cross-sectional stop-and-go patterns at 1 to 3 km from the exhaust shafts. Several of these transects allowed for estimation of inline-formulaCH4 emissions based on the observed enhancements of the column-averaged dry-air mole fractions of methane (inline-formulaXCH4) using a mass balance approach. Our resulting emission estimates range from inline-formula6±1 kt ainline-formula−1 for a single shaft up to inline-formula109±33 kt ainline-formula−1 for a subregion of the USCB, which is in broad agreement with the E-PRTR reports. Three wind lidars were deployed in the larger USCB region providing ancillary information about spatial and temporal variability of wind and turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer. Sensitivity studies show that, despite drawing from the three wind lidars, the uncertainty of the local wind dominates the uncertainty of the emission estimates, by far exceeding errors related to the inline-formulaXCH4 measurements themselves. Wind-related relative errors on the emission estimates typically amount to 20 %.

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Luther, Andreas / Kleinschek, Ralph / Scheidweiler, Leon / et al: Quantifying CH4 emissions from hard coal mines using mobile sun-viewing Fourier transform spectrometry. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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