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Multi-Channel Auto-Dilution System for Remote Continuous Monitoring of High Soil-CO2 Fluxes


Amonette JE, and JL Barr.  2009.  Multi-Channel Auto-Dilution System for Remote Continuous Monitoring of High Soil-CO2 Fluxes.  PNNL-18229, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 

Formal Report


Geological sequestration has the potential capacity and longevity to significantly decrease the amount of anthropogenic CO2 introduced into the atmosphere by combustion of fossil fuels such as coal. Effective sequestration, however, requires the ability to verify the integrity of the reservoir and ensure that potential leakage rates are kept to a minimum. Moreover, understanding the pathways by which CO2 migrates to the surface is critical to assessing the risks and developing remediation approaches. Field experiments, such as those conducted at the Zero Emissions Research and Technology (ZERT) project test site in Bozeman, Montana, require a flexible CO2 monitoring system that can accurately and continuously measure soil-surface CO2 fluxes for multiple sampling points at concentrations ranging from background levels to several tens of percent. To meet this need, PNNL is developing a multi-port battery-operated system capable of both spatial and temporal monitoring of CO2 at concentrations from ambient to at least 150,000 ppmv. This report describes the system components (sampling chambers, measurement and control system, and power supply) and the results of a field test at the ZERT site during the late summer and fall of 2008. While the system performed well overall during the field test, several improvements to the system are suggested for implementation in FY2009.

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