A Micrometeorological technique to monitor hydrocarbon emissions from landfarms to the atmosphere

Sandra Ausma, Grant C. Edwards, Edwina K. Wong, Terry J. Gillespie, Colleen R. Fitzgerald-Hubble, Laurie Halfpenny-Mitchell, Wendy P. Mortimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Landfarming is used to treat petroleum hydrocarbon–contaminated soils and a variety of waste streams from industrial operations. Wastes are applied to a soil surface and indigenous soil microorganisms utilize the hydrocarbons in the applied waste as a carbon source for metabolism, thereby biodegrading the applied material. Concerns have been expressed that abiotic losses, such as volatilization, play a significant role in hydrocarbon reduction within the soil. To assist in better defining atmospheric releases of total hydrocarbons from landfarms treating petroleum hydrocarbons, a flux gradient micrometeorological approach was developed and integrated with a custom-built total hydrocarbon detector, and a novel air sampling system and averaging algorithm. The micrometeorological technique offers unobtrusive spatially averaged real-time continuous measurements, thereby providing a time history of emissions. This provides opportunities to investigate mechanisms controlling emissions and to evaluate landfarm management strategies. The versatility of the technique is illustrated through measurements performed at a remote landfarm used to treat diesel fuel–contaminated soil in northern Ontario and during routine operations at two active refinery landfarms in southwestern Ontario.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-785
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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