Oil and Natural Gas
As oil and natural gas production from unconventional reservoirs has increased, more attention has been placed on the impact of these industries. These industries can vent methane, the main component of natural gas, to the atmosphere. With a global warming potential 34 times that of carbon dioxide, methane is a major contributor to climate change. In addition, oil and natural gas production can release other harmful volatile organic compounds. These sources are numerous, with several thousand wells in some of the most productive basins. They also tend to be remote making them difficult to monitor effectively. Our work focuses on finding efficient ways to sample these sites to better understand the frequency and magnitude of these emissions.
Agriculture and Livestock
Agriculture and livestock operations in the United States are important contributors of methane and ammonia. Ammonia is a largely unregulated gas that can react and form particulate matter and transport nitrogen to sensitive environments. Emissions are not well understood and more thorough monitoring of these sources is needed.
Currently, ~55% of the world’s population lives in urban environments. The high concentration of people and polluting sources makes urban environments a public health concern. Yet, urban environments can be highly heterogeneous making them difficult to monitor and model. High resolution and high quality monitoring is needed to help build and evaluate models that can be used to predict and inform the public of poor air quality episodes.