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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-412
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-412
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 31 Jan 2019

Research article | 31 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Photoacoustic measurement may significantly overestimate NH3 emissions from cattle houses due to VOC interferences

Dezhao Liu1,2, Li Rong2, Jesper Kamp2, Xianwang Kong1, Anders Peter Adamsen3, Albarune Chowdhury2, and Anders Feilberg2 Dezhao Liu et al.
  • 1Zhejiang University, College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, Yuhangtang Road 866, 310058 Hangzhou, China
  • 2Aarhus University, Department of Engineering, Finlandsgade 22, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark
  • 3APSA, c/o Agro Business Park, Niels Pedersens Allé 2, 8830 Tjele, Denmark

Abstract. Infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS) is a widely used method for measurement of NH3 and greenhouse gas emissions especially in agriculture, but non-targeted gases such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from cattle barns may interfere with target gases causing inaccurate results. This study made an estimation of NH3 interference in PAS caused by selected non-targeted VOCs which were simultaneously measured by a PAS and a PTR-MS (proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry). Laboratory calibration were performed for NH3 measurement and VOCs were selected based on a headspace test of the feeding material maize silage. Various levels of interference of tested VOCs were observed on NH3 and greenhouse emissions measured by the PAS. Particularly, ethanol, methanol, 1-butanol, 1-propanol and acetic acid were found to have highest interference on NH3. A linear response was typically obtained, with non-linear relation was however observed for VOCs on N2O emissions. The corrected online NH3 concentrations measured by the PAS from a field study were confirmed to be reasonably correlated to the NH3 concentration measured simultaneously by the PTR-MS. It was concluded that the correction factors could be used for possible data corrections when the concentrations of VOCs could be obtained by using e.g. PTR-MS.

Dezhao Liu et al.
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