Aerodyne Mobile Laboratory

Dr. Scott C. Herndon
Ph. D., Physical Chemistry, University of Colorado

Dr. Herndon is a physical chemist and Director of the Center for Atmospheric and Environmental Chemistry at Aerodyne Research, Inc. Since joining Aerodyne in 1999, his research interests have focused on the development and utilization of laboratory and field trace gas and fine particle instrumentation, together with modeling studies, to characterize and elucidate atmospheric processes relevant to stratospheric ozone depletion, urban and regional air quality and climate change.  He has led over 20 field measurement campaigns to characterize and quantify air pollutant emission sources and map ambient pollution concentrations using suites of advanced, real-time spectroscopic and mass spectrometric instrumentation deployed on the Aerodyne Mobile Laboratory and on a range of research aircraft and ships. Most recently Dr. Herndon has developed an improved dual tracer release ratio method to quantify methane emissions from oil and gas production and transmission facilities and other sources in the US and Mexico. He is the author or co-author of over 50 archival publications addressing atmospheric science and physical chemistry issues.

Field Measurement Services

Aerodyne’s mobile laboratory(ies) and instruments have participated in numerous field campaigns focusing on a great variety of scientific areas.

Neighborhood Mapping for Pollution Impact

The fast-response online measurement methods aboard the mobile laboratory enables us to map spatial gradients of emitted pollutants.

Tracer Release Studies

Tracer release methodology [Roscioli et al., 2015] is used to quantify emissions at industrial facilities like natural gas well pads, compressor stations, dairy farms, and more. These studies rely on releasing small quantities of one or more tracer gases like nitrous oxide (N2O), acetylene (C2H2) or ethane (C2H6) at or near to a facility. The tracer gases co-disperse with any site emissions like methane (CH4), and are measured downwind by the mobile laboratory. The tracer release method allows for accurate and complete facility-scale emission quantification, with typical uncertainties better than 50%.

Fenceline Monitoring and Leak Detection

The mobile laboratory can be operated in “survey mode” for real-time detection and source identification of equipment leaks.

Alternative Platform Deployments:

Some studies require deployment of instrumentation on other vessels, like aircraft, ships or containers. Aerodyne has installed instruments or suites of instruments aboard aircraft and ships of varying sizes.

Research and commercial instruments are installed into the Mobile Laboratory to collect data while in motion for plume characterization, area mapping or portable deployment for photochemistry and transport experiments.

Instruments on the Mobile Laboratory

The Aerodyne Mobile Laboratory has a suite of instrumentation that changes depending on the requirements of the measurement campaign.

Aerodyne-manufactured instruments:

Non-Aerodyne commercially available instruments:

  •     GPS position and GPS compass
  •     2D or 3D anemometers
  •     Commercial systems for measuring NOx, NO

Research-grade instrumentation is often integrated into the mobile laboratory by project collaborators:

And the Mobile Laboratory has been host to numerous research and commercial instruments from collaborators.

Publications

Mobile Laboratory Observations of Methane Emissions in the Barnett Shale Region, T. I. Yacovitch, S. C. Herndon, G. Pétron, J. Kofler, D. Lyon, M. S. Zahniser, C. E. Kolb, Environ. Sci. Technol., 49, 7889–7895, 2015.

Constructing a Spatially Resolved Methane Emission Inventory for the Barnett Shale Region, D. R. Lyon, D. Zavala-Araiza, R. A. Alvarez, R. Harriss, V. Palacios, X. Lan, R. Talbot, T. Lavoie, P. Shepson, T. I. Yacovitch, S. C. Herndon, A. J. Marchese, D. Zimmerle, A. L. Robinson, S. P. Hamburg, Environ. Sci. Technol., 49, 8147–8157, 2015.

Atmospheric Emission Characterization of Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Development Sites, J. D. Goetz, C. Floerchinger, E. C. Fortner, J. Wormhoudt, P. Massoli, W. B. Knighton, S. C. Herndon, C. E. Kolb, E. Knipping, S. L. Shaw, P. F. DeCarlo, Environ. Sci. Technol., 49, 7012–7020, 2015.

Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Compressor Stations in the Transmission and Storage Sector: Measurements and Comparisons with the EPA Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program Protocol, R. Subramanian, L. L. Williams, T. L. Vaughn, D. Zimmerle, J. R. Roscioli, S. C. Herndon, T. I. Yacovitch, C. Floerchinger, D. S. Tkacik, A. L. Mitchell, M. R. Sullivan, T. R. Dallmann, A. L. Robinson, Environ. Sci. Technol., 49, 3252-3261, 2015.

Measurements of methane emissions from natural gas gathering facilities and processing plants: measurement methods, J. R. Roscioli, T. I. Yacovitch, C. Floerchinger, A. L. Mitchell, D. S. Tkacik, R. Subramanian, D. M. Martinez, T. L. Vaughn, L. Williams, D. Zimmerle, A. L. Robinson, S. C. Herndon, A. J. Marchese, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8, 2017-2035, 2015.

Measurements of Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Gathering Facilities and Processing Plants: Measurement Results, A. L. Mitchell, D. S. Tkacik, J. R. Roscioli, S. C. Herndon, T. I. Yacovitch, D. M. Martinez, T. L. Vaughn, L. L. Williams, M. R. Sullivan, C. Floerchinger, M. Omara, R. Subramanian, D. Zimmerle, A. J. Marchese, A. L. Robinson, Environ. Sci. Tech., 49, 3219-3227, 2015.

Measurements of methane emissions from natural gas gathering facilities and processing plants: measurement methods, J. R. Roscioli, T. I. Yacovitch, C. Floerchinger, A. L. Mitchell, D. S. Tkacik, R. Subramanian, D. M. Martinez, T. L. Vaughn, L. Williams, D. Zimmerle,A. L. Robinson, S. C. Herndon, A. J. Marchese, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., 7, 12357–12406, 2014.

Demonstration of an Ethane Spectrometer for Methane Source Identification, T. Yacovitch, S. C. Herndon, J. R. Roscioli, C. Floerchinger, R. M. McGovern, M. Agnese, G. Pétron, J. Kofler, C. Sweeney, A. Karion, S. A. Conley, E. A. Kort, L. Nähle, M. Fischer, L. Hildebrandt, J. Koeth, J. B. McManus, D. D. Nelson, M. S. Zahniser, C. E. Kolb, Environ. Sci. Technol., 48, 8028-8034, 2014.

Atmospheric CH4 and N2O measurements near Greater Houston area landfills using a QCL-based QEPAS sensor system during DISCOVER-AQ 2013, M. Jahjah, W. Jiang, N. P. Sanchez, W. Ren, P. Patimisco, V. Spagnolo, S. C. Herndon, R. J. Griffin, F. K. Tittel, Opt. Lett. 39, 957-960, 2014.

Online measurements of the emissions of intermediate-volatility and semi-volatile organic compounds from aircraft, E. S. Cross, J. F. Hunter, A. J. Carrasquillo, J. P. Franklin, S. C. Herndon, J. T. Jayne, D. R. Worsnop, R. C. Miake-Lye, and J. H. Kroll, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 7845-7858, 2013.

Detecting fugitive emissions of 1,3-butadiene and styrene from a petrochemical facility: An application of a mobile laboratory and a modified proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer, W. B. Knighton, S. C. Herndon, E. C. Wood, E. C. Fortner, T. B. Onasch, J. Wormhoudt, C. E. Kolb, B. H. Lee, M. Zavala, L. Molina, M. Jones, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51, 12674–12684, 2012.

Direct measurement of volatile organic compound emissions from industrial flares using real-time online techniques: Proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry and tunable infrared laser differential absorption spectroscopy, W. B. Knighton, S. C. Herndon, J. F. Franklin, E. C. Wood, J. Wormhoudt, W. Brooks, E. C. Fortner, D. T. Allen, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51, 12674–12684, 2012.

Aircraft Emissions of methane and nitrous oxide during the alternative aviation fuel experiment, G. W. Santoni, B. H. Lee, E. C. Wood, S. C. Herndon, R. C. Miake-Lye, S. S. Wofsy, J. B. McManus, D. D. Nelson, M. S. Zahniser, Environ. Sci. Tech. 45, 7075-7082, 2011.