Development of a continuous UAV-mounted air sampler and application to the quantification of CO 2 and CH 4 emissions from a major coking plant

Han, Tianran; Xie, Conghui; Liu, Yayong; Yang, Yanrong; Zhang, Yuheng; Huang, Yufei; Gao, Xiangyu; Zhang, Xiaohua; Bao, Fangmin; Li, Shao-Meng

The development in uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies over the past decade has led to a plethora of platforms that can potentially enable greenhouse gas emission quantification. Here, we report the development of a new air sampler, consisting of a pumped stainless coiled tube of 150 m in length with controlled time stamping, and its deployment from an industrial UAV to quantify COinline-formula2 and CHinline-formula4 emissions from the main coking plant stacks of a major steel maker in eastern China. Laboratory tests show that the time series of COinline-formula2 and CHinline-formula4 measured using the sampling system is smoothed when compared to online measurement by the cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS) analyzer. Further analyses show that the smoothing is akin to a convolution of the true time series signals with a heavy-tailed digital filter. For field testing, the air sampler was mounted on the UAV and flown in virtual boxes around two stacks in the coking plant of the Shagang Group (steel producer). Mixing ratios of COinline-formula2 and CHinline-formula4 in air and meteorological parameters were measured from the UAV during the test flight. A mass-balance computational algorithm was used on the data to estimate the COinline-formula2 and CHinline-formula4 emission rates from the stacks. Using this algorithm, the emission rates for the two stacks from the coking plant were calculated to be inline-formula0.12±0.014 t hinline-formula−1 for CHinline-formula4 and inline-formula110±18 t hinline-formula−1 for COinline-formula2, the latter being in excellent agreement with material-balance-based estimates. A Gaussian plume inversion approach was also used to derive the emission rates, and the results were compared with those derived using the mass-balance algorithm, showing a good agreement between the two methods.



Han, Tianran / Xie, Conghui / Liu, Yayong / et al: Development of a continuous UAV-mounted air sampler and application to the quantification of CO2 and CH4 emissions from a major coking plant. 2024. Copernicus Publications.


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