Intercomparison of commercial analyzers for atmospheric ethane and methane observations
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Intercomparison of commercial analyzers for atmospheric ethane and methane observations

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  • Journal Title:
    Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
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    Methane (CH4) is a strong greenhouse gas that has become the focus of climate mitigation policies in recent years. Ethane/methane ratios can be used to identify and partition the different sources of methane, especially in areas with natural gas mixed with biogenic methane emissions, such as cities. We assessed the precision, accuracy, and selectivity of three commercially available laser-based analyzers that have been marketed as measuring instantaneous dry-mole fractions of methane and ethane in ambient air. The Aerodyne SuperDUAL instrument performed the best out of the three instruments, but it is large and requires expertise to operate. The Aeris Mira Ultra LDS analyzer also performed well for the price point and small size, but it required characterization of the water vapor dependence of reported concentrations and careful set-up for use. The Picarro G2210-i precisely measured methane, but it did not detect the 10 ppbv (part-per-billion by volume) increases in ambient ethane detected by the other two instruments when sampling a plume of incompletely combusted natural gas. For long-term tower deployments or those with large mobile laboratories, the Aerodyne SuperDUAL provides the best precision for methane and ethane. The more compact Aeris MIRA can, with careful use, quantify thermogenic methane sources to sufficient precision for mobile and short-term deployments in urban or oil and gas areas. We weighed the advantages of each instrument, including size, power requirement, ease of use on mobile platforms, and expertise needed to operate the instrument. We recommend the Aerodyne SuperDUAL or the Aeris MIRA Ultra LDS depending on the situation.
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    Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 16(5), 1431-1441
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    CC BY
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