Atmospheric impacts of a natural gas development within the urban context of Morgantown, West Virginia

Atmospheric impacts of a natural gas development within the urban context of Morgantown, West... The Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory (MSEEL) in West Virginia provides a unique opportunity in the field of unconventional energy research. By studying near-surface atmospheric chemistry over several phases of a hydraulic fracturing event, the project will help evaluate the impact of current practices, as well as new techniques and mitigation technologies. A total of 10 mobile surveys covering a distance of approximately 1500 km were conducted through Morgantown. Our surveying technique involved using a vehicle-mounted Los Gatos Research gas analyzer to provide geo-located measurements of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The ratios of super-ambient concentrations of CO2 and CH4 were used to separate well-pad emissions from the natural background concentrations over the various stages of well-pad development, as well as for comparisons to other urban sources of CH4. We found that regional background methane concentrations were elevated in all surveys, with a mean concentration of 2.699 ± 0.006 ppmv, which simply reflected the complexity of this riverine urban location. Emissions at the site were the greatest during the flow-back phase, with an estimated CH4 volume output of 20.62 ± 7.07 g/s, which was significantly higher than other identified urban emitters. Our study was able to successfully identify and quantify MSEEL emissions within this complex urban environment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Science of the Total Environment Elsevier

Atmospheric impacts of a natural gas development within the urban context of Morgantown, West Virginia

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN
0048-9697
eISSN
1879-1026
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.422
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory (MSEEL) in West Virginia provides a unique opportunity in the field of unconventional energy research. By studying near-surface atmospheric chemistry over several phases of a hydraulic fracturing event, the project will help evaluate the impact of current practices, as well as new techniques and mitigation technologies. A total of 10 mobile surveys covering a distance of approximately 1500 km were conducted through Morgantown. Our surveying technique involved using a vehicle-mounted Los Gatos Research gas analyzer to provide geo-located measurements of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The ratios of super-ambient concentrations of CO2 and CH4 were used to separate well-pad emissions from the natural background concentrations over the various stages of well-pad development, as well as for comparisons to other urban sources of CH4. We found that regional background methane concentrations were elevated in all surveys, with a mean concentration of 2.699 ± 0.006 ppmv, which simply reflected the complexity of this riverine urban location. Emissions at the site were the greatest during the flow-back phase, with an estimated CH4 volume output of 20.62 ± 7.07 g/s, which was significantly higher than other identified urban emitters. Our study was able to successfully identify and quantify MSEEL emissions within this complex urban environment.

Journal

Science of the Total EnvironmentElsevier

Published: Oct 15, 2018

References

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