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

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doi:10.5194/amt-2017-103
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
18 Apr 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Observations of VOC emissions and photo chemical products over US oil- and gas-producing regions using high-resolution H3O+ CIMS (PTR-ToF-MS)
Abigail Koss1,2,3, Bin Yuan1,2,a, Carsten Warneke1,2, Jessica B. Gilman1, Brian M. Lerner1,2,b, Patrick R. Veres1,2, Jeff Peischl1,2, Scott Eilerman1,2, Rob Wild1,2, Steven S. Brown1,3, Chelsea R. Thompson1,2, Thomas Ryerson1, Thomas Hanisco4, Glenn M. Wolfe4,5, Jason M. St. Clair4,5, Mitchell Thayer6, Frank N. Keutsch6,7, Shane Murphy8, and Joost de Gouw2,3 1NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL), Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO, USA
2Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
3Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado Boulder, CO, USA
4NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
5Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, USA
6University of Wisconsin Madison , Madison, WI, USA
7Paulson S chool of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
8University of Wyoming , Laramie, WY, USA
anow at: Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villi gen, Switzerland
bnow at: Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, MA, USA
Abstract. VOCs related to oil and gas extraction operations in the United States were measured by H3O+ chemical ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (H3O+ ToF-CIMS / PTR-ToF-MS) from aircraft during the SONGNEX campaign in March–April 2015. This work presents an overview of major VOC species measured in nine oil and gas producing regions, and a more detailed analysis of H3O+ ToF-CIMS measurements in the Permian Basin within Texas and New Mexico. Mass spectra are dominated by small photochemically produced oxygenates, and compounds typically found in crude oil: aromatics, cyclic alkanes, and alkanes. Mixing ratios of aromatics were frequently as high as those measured downwind of large urban areas. In the Permian, the H3O+ ToF-CIMS measured a number of underexplored or previously unreported species, including aromatic and cycloalkane oxidation products, nitrogen heterocycles including pyrrole (C4H5N) and pyrroline (C4H7N), H2S, and a diamondoid (adamantane) or unusual monoterpene. We additionally assess the specificity of a number of ion masses resulting from H3O+ ion chemistry previously reported in the literature, including several new or alternate interpretations.

Citation: Koss, A., Yuan, B., Warneke, C., Gilman, J. B., Lerner, B. M., Veres, P. R., Peischl, J., Eilerman, S., Wild, R., Brown, S. S., Thompson, C. R., Ryerson, T., Hanisco, T., Wolfe, G. M., St. Clair, J. M., Thayer, M., Keutsch, F. N., Murphy, S., and de Gouw, J.: Observations of VOC emissions and photo chemical products over US oil- and gas-producing regions using high-resolution H3O+ CIMS (PTR-ToF-MS), Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2017-103, in review, 2017.
Abigail Koss et al.
Abigail Koss et al.
Abigail Koss et al.

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Short summary
Oil and gas extraction activity can cause air quality issues through emission of reactive chemicals. VOCs related to extraction operations in the United States were measured by PTR-ToF-MS from aircraft during the SONGNEX campaign in March–April 2015. The detailed analysis in this work provides a guide to interpreting PTR-ToF measurements in oil and gas producing regions, and includes fundamental observations of VOC speciation and mixing ratios.
Oil and gas extraction activity can cause air quality issues through emission of reactive...
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