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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/amtd-6-9181-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
29 Oct 2013
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
Estimation of waste water treatment plant methane emissions: methodology and results from a short campaign
C. E. Yver-Kwok1, D. Müller2, C. Caldow3, B. Lebegue1, J. G. Mønster4, C. W. Rella5, C. Scheutz4, M. Schmidt1, M. Ramonet1, T. Warneke2, G. Broquet1, and P. Ciais1 1Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et l'Environnement (LSCE/IPSL), UMR8212, CNRS-CEA-UVSQ, Centre d'Etudes Orme des Merisiers, Gif sur Yvette, France
2Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Otto-Hahn-Allee 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany
3Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia
4Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Bygningstorvet-Building 115, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark
5Picarro Inc., 3105 Patrick Henry Drive, Santa Clara, CA, USA
Abstract. This paper describes different methods to estimate methane emissions at different scales. These methods are applied to a waste water treatment plant (WWTP) located in Valence, France. We show that Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) measurements as well as Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) can be used to measure emissions from the process to the regional scale. To estimate the total emissions, we investigate a tracer release method (using C2H2) and the Radon tracer method (using 222Rn). For process-scale emissions, both tracer release and chamber techniques were used. We show that the tracer release method is suitable to quantify facility- and some process-scale emissions, while the Radon tracer method encompasses not only the treatment station but also a large area around. Thus the Radon tracer method is more representative of the regional emissions around the city. Uncertainties for each method are described. Applying the methods to CH4 emissions, we find that the main source of emissions of the plant was not identified with certainty during this short campaign, although the primary source of emissions is likely to be from solid sludge. Overall, the waste water treatment plant represents a small part (3%) of the methane emissions of the city of Valence and its surroundings,which is in agreement with the national inventories.

Citation: Yver-Kwok, C. E., Müller, D., Caldow, C., Lebegue, B., Mønster, J. G., Rella, C. W., Scheutz, C., Schmidt, M., Ramonet, M., Warneke, T., Broquet, G., and Ciais, P.: Estimation of waste water treatment plant methane emissions: methodology and results from a short campaign, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., 6, 9181-9224, doi:10.5194/amtd-6-9181-2013, 2013.
C. E. Yver-Kwok et al.
C. E. Yver-Kwok et al.

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