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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 953; doi:10.3390/rs9090953

Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) Measurements of Landfill Methane Emissions

National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Hampton Road, Middlesex, TW11 0LW Teddington, UK
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Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Greenhouse Gases)
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Abstract

Methane is one of the most important gaseous hydrocarbon species for both industrial and environmental reasons. Understanding and quantifying methane emissions to atmosphere is therefore an important element of climate change research. Range-resolved infrared differential absorption Lidar (DIAL) measurements provide the means to map and quantify a wide range of different methane sources. This paper describes the DIAL measurement technique and reports the application of an infrared DIAL system to field measurements of methane emissions from active and closed landfill sites. This paper shows how the capability of the DIAL to measure the spatial distribution of methane plumes enables DIAL vertical scans to spatially separate and independently quantify emissions from different sources. It also allows DIAL horizontal scans carried out above the surface to identify emission hot-spots. An overview of the landfill emission surveys carried out over the last decade by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) DIAL system is presented. These surveys were part of research projects and commercial works aimed to validate the method and to provide reliable information on the methane emissions measuring the total site and area-specific emissions from active areas, capped areas, and gas engine stacks. This work showed that methane emissions are significantly higher for active sites than closed sites due to the methane emitted directly to air from the uncapped active areas. On active sites, the operational tipping areas generally have higher emission levels than the capped areas, although there is considerably variation in the emission from different capped areas. The information obtained with DIAL measurements allow site operators to identify significant fugitive emission sources and validate emissions estimates, and they allow the regulators to revise and update the emission inventories. Operators’ remediation actions driven by DIAL measurements have also been shown to considerably decreased total site methane emission. View Full-Text
Keywords: DIAL; methane emissions; landfill; Lidar; remote measurements DIAL; methane emissions; landfill; Lidar; remote measurements
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Innocenti, F.; Robinson, R.; Gardiner, T.; Finlayson, A.; Connor, A. Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) Measurements of Landfill Methane Emissions. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 953.

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