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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Atmospheric Pollutants and Trace Gases

A Micrometeorological Technique to Monitor Total Hydrocarbon Emissions from Landfarms to the Atmosphere


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 3, p. 776-785
    Received: Apr 21, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): sausma@uoguelph.ca
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  1. Sandra Ausma *a,
  2. Grant C. Edwardsb,
  3. Edwina K. Wongb,
  4. Terry J. Gillespiea,
  5. Colleen R. Fitzgerald-Hubbleb,
  6. Laurie Halfpenny-Mitchellb and
  7. Wendy P. Mortimerc
  1. a Dep. of Land Resource Science, Univ. of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1
    b School of Engineering, Univ. of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1
    c Bell Canada, 250 Fieldway Rd., Toronto, ON, Canada M8Z 3L2


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.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:776–785.