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Quantifying CH4 emissions from hard coal mines using mobile sun-viewing Fourier transform spectrometry

Abstract : Methane (CH4) emissions from coal production amount to roughly one-third of European anthropogenic CH4 emissions in the atmosphere. Poland is the largest hard coal producer in the European Union with the Polish side of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB) as the main part of it. Emission estimates for CH4 from the USCB for individual coal mine ventilation shafts range between 0.03 and 20 kt a-1, amounting to a basin total of roughly 440 kt a-1 according to the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR,, 2014). We mounted a ground-based, portable, sun-viewing FTS (Fourier transform spectrometer) on a truck for sampling coal mine ventilation plumes by driving cross-sectional stop-and-go patterns at 1 to 3 km from the exhaust shafts. Several of these transects allowed for estimation of CH4 emissions based on the observed enhancements of the column-averaged dry-air mole fractions of methane (XCH4) using a mass balance approach. Our resulting emission estimates range from 6±1 kt a-1 for a single shaft up to 109±33 kt a-1 for a subregion of the USCB, which is in broad agreement with the E-PRTR reports. Three wind lidars were deployed in the larger USCB region providing ancillary information about spatial and temporal variability of wind and turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer. Sensitivity studies show that, despite drawing from the three wind lidars, the uncertainty of the local wind dominates the uncertainty of the emission estimates, by far exceeding errors related to the XCH4 measurements themselves. Wind-related relative errors on the emission estimates typically amount to 20 %.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 14, 2022 - 7:20:52 AM
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Andreas Luther, Ralph Kleinschek, Leon Scheidweiler, Sara Defratyka, Mila Stanisavljevic, et al.. Quantifying CH4 emissions from hard coal mines using mobile sun-viewing Fourier transform spectrometry. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 2019, 12, pp.5217-5230. ⟨10.5194/amt-12-5217-2019⟩. ⟨insu-03721873⟩



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