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Field Deployment of a Portable Optical Spectrometer for Methane Fugitive Emissions Monitoring on Oil and Gas Well Pads

1
IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, 1101 Kitchawan Road, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, USA
2
Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(12), 2707; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19122707
Received: 23 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 16 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Optical Sensors)
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Abstract

We present field deployment results of a portable optical absorption spectrometer for localization and quantification of fugitive methane (CH4) emissions. Our near-infrared sensor targets the 2ν3 R(4) CH4 transition at 6057.1 cm−1 (1651 nm) via line-scanned tunable diode-laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS), with Allan deviation analysis yielding a normalized 2.0 ppmv∙Hz−1/2 sensitivity (4.5 × 10−6 Hz−1/2 noise-equivalent absorption) over 5 cm open-path length. Controlled CH4 leak experiments are performed at the METEC CSU engineering facility, where concurrent deployment of our TDLAS and a customized volatile organic compound (VOC) sensor demonstrates good linear correlation (R2 = 0.74) over high-flow (>60 SCFH) CH4 releases spanning 4.4 h. In conjunction with simultaneous wind velocity measurements, the leak angle-of-arrival (AOA) is ascertained via correlation of CH4 concentration and wind angle, demonstrating the efficacy of single-sensor line-of-sight (LOS) determination of leak sources. Source magnitude estimation based on a Gaussian plume model is demonstrated, with good correspondence (R2 = 0.74) between calculated and measured release rates. View Full-Text
Keywords: absorption spectroscopy; infrared; diode laser; methane; natural gas; fugitive emissions; source estimation; angle-of-arrival; Gaussian plume model absorption spectroscopy; infrared; diode laser; methane; natural gas; fugitive emissions; source estimation; angle-of-arrival; Gaussian plume model
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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

Zhang, E.J.; Teng, C.C.; van Kessel, T.G.; Klein, L.; Muralidhar, R.; Wysocki, G.; Green, W.M.J. Field Deployment of a Portable Optical Spectrometer for Methane Fugitive Emissions Monitoring on Oil and Gas Well Pads. Sensors 2019, 19, 2707.

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