Monitoring of gas emissions at landfill sites using autonomous gas sensors

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This report details the work carried out during the Smart Plant project, funding code 2005-AIC-MS-43-M4. As part of this research, an autonomous platform for monitoring greenhouse gases (methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2)) has been developed, prototyped and field validated. The modular design employed means that the platform can be readily adapted for a variety of applications involving these and other target gases such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia (NH3) and carbon monoxide (CO) and the authors are in the process of completing several short demonstrator projects to illustrate the potential of the platform for some of these applications. The field validation for the greenhouse gas monitoring platform was carried out at two landfill sites in Ireland. The unit was used to monitor the concentration of CO2 and CH4 gas at perimeter borehole wells. The final prototype was deployed for over 4 months and successfully extracted samples from the assigned perimeter borehole well headspace, measured them and sent the data to a database via GSM communications. The data were represented via an updating graph in a web interface. Sampling was carried out twice per day, giving a 60-fold increase on current monitoring procedures which provide one gas concentration measurement per month.

From additional work described in this report, a number of conclusions were drawn regarding lateral landfill gas migration on a landfill site and the management of this migration to the perimeter of the site. This allowed the following recommendations for the sampling protocol to be made:
? For continuous monitoring on-site, the extracted sample should be recycled back into the borehole well. However, for compliance monitoring, the sample should not be returned to the borehole well;
? The sample should be extracted at a depth within the borehole well headspace and not from the top of the borehole well. The measurement depth will be dependent on the water table and headspace depth within the borehole well;
? An extraction time of 3 minutes should be sufficient to get a steady state measurement from the headspace and take a representative sample;
? Sampling should take place more frequently. Sampling once per month means that a great number of events on the site can be missed.

To provide frequent, reliable monitoring of landfill gas migration to perimeter borehole wells, the unit needs to;
? be fully autonomous;
? be capable of extracting a gas sample from a borehole well independently of personnel;
? be able to relay the data in near real-time to a base-station;
? have sensors with a range capable of adequately monitoring gas events accurately at all times.

The authors believe that a unit which is capable of such monitoring has been developed and validated. This unit provides a powerful tool for effective management of landfill site gases. The effectiveness of this unit has been recognised by the site management team at the long-term deployment trial site, and the data gathered have been used to improve their day to day operations and gas management system on-site.
The authors make the following recommendations.
1. The dynamics of the landfill gas management system cannot be captured by taking measurements once per month, therefore, a minimum sampling rate of once per day is advised.
2. The sampling protocol should be changed.
a. Borehole well samples should be taken from a depth in the headspace (0.5-1.0 m) dependent on the water table.
b. The sampling time should be increased to 3 minutes to ensure a steady state is seen in the gas being extracted.
c. For continuous monitoring on-site, the extracted sample should be recycled back into the borehole well. However, for compliance monitoring, the sample should not be returned to the borehole well;
3. Devices should be placed at all borehole wells so the balance on the site can be maintained through the gas management system and extraction issues can be quickly recognised and addressed before there are events of high gas migration to the perimeter.
4. A pilot study should be carried out by the EPA using 10 of these autonomous devices over 3-5 sites to show the need and value for this type of sampling on Irish landfill sites.

We also wish to take this opportunity to thank the EPA for funding this research

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Contact Information for This Resource

Prof. Dermot Diamond
National Centre for Sensor Research
Environmental Research Scientist
The National Centre for Sensor Research, Dublin City University, Research & Engineering Building, Dublin City University Glasnevin,Dublin 9, Ireland
Telephone: +353-1-7005404
e-mail: dermot.diamond@dcu.ie

Dr. Breda Kiernan
Dublin City University
Postdoctoral Researcher
CLARITY, National Centre for Sensor Research, DCU, Dublin 9, Glasnevin, Dublin, Dublin
Telephone: 01 7007926
e-mail: breda.kiernan@dcu.ie

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Att 1    Prototype_II_on_deployment.JPG   (2.66 Mb)
Att 2    Final_prototype_on_deployment.JPG   (2.73 Mb)
Att 3    Site_A_Aug_28th_2008.xls   (0.09 Mb)
Att 4    Site_A_August_1st_2008.xls   (0.14 Mb)
Att 5    Site_A_July_16th_2008.xls   (0.05 Mb)

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Author(s)Diamond, D. Kiernan, B.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationMonitoring of gas emissions at landfill sites using autonomous gas sensors
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=08b75943-bedb-102d-af1a-60cde515b757
Unique Identifier08b75943-bedb-102d-af1a-60cde515b757
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2017-11-20

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Diamond, D. Kiernan, B.   "Monitoring of gas emissions at landfill sites using autonomous gas sensors". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=08b75943-bedb-102d-af1a-60cde515b757 (Last Accessed: 2017-11-20)

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=178
Resource Keywordslandfill gas, sensors, autonomous, continuous monitoring
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2005-AIC-MS-43-M4
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeEnvironmental Technologies
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Public-Open
Limitations on the use of this ResourceThe data is temporarily private while we sort out, internally, about access to the data for reasons of publications still pending and patent issues.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 5
Project Start Date Friday 1st February 2008 (01-02-2008)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Saturday 1st March 2008 (01-03-2008)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Tuesday 1st September 2009 (01-09-2009)
Published on SAFERTuesday 1st June 2010 (01-06-2010)
Date of Last EditMonday 14th June 2010 at 12:37:51 (14-06-2010)
Datasets or Files Updated On Tuesday 1st June 2010 at 15:31:58 (01-06-2010)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
Two active landfill sites were used as pilot sites for the calibration and then further use of the landfill gas monitoring units described in the final report. One site was in the Leinster region and the other site in the NE region of Ireland.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
This project was funded to create an autonomous gas monitoring device capable of taking gas samples, analysing them and sending the data to an appropriate stakeholder in good time, so that more accurate decisions could be made about the quality of the air/gas being measured. One of the applications for the developed autonomous monitoring unit was for landfill gas measurment at perimeter borehole well sites.

As part of this research, an autonomous platform for monitoring greenhouse gases (methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2)) has been developed, prototyped and field validated. The modular design employed means that the platform can be readily adapted for a variety of applications involving these and other target gases such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia (NH3) and carbon monoxide (CO) and the authors are in the process of completing several short demonstrator projects to illustrate the potential of the platform for some of these applications. The field validation for the greenhouse gas monitoring platform was carried out at two landfill sites in Ireland. The unit was used to monitor the concentration of CO2 and CH4 gas at perimeter borehole wells. The final prototype was deployed for over 4 months and successfully extracted samples from the assigned perimeter borehole well headspace, measured them and sent the data to a database via GSM communications. The data were represented via an updating graph in a web interface. Sampling was carried out twice per day, giving a 60-fold increase on current monitoring procedures which provide one gas concentration measurement per month.

The datasets attached, as Excel spreadsheets give the raw data generated from these site deployments as part of the validation process of the prototype units. Detailed explanations of similar data to that given in these datasets can be found in the final report, available at: http://www.epa.ie/downloads/pubs/research/tech/name,28455,en.html
Supplementary Information
All datasets given here were validated against an industry standard for landfill gas monitoring - the GA2000 Plus unit.

All data presented are taken using landfill monitoring units developed in DCU and described in detail in the final report for this project, available at : http://www.epa.ie/downloads/pubs/research/tech/name,28455,en.html

In earlier datasets, only up to 60 datapoints are presented, which represent a 3 minute sampling regime of landfill gas from the specified perimeter borehole well. In later datasets, there are 3 sets of 60 datapoints, representing the baseline 3 minute regime, the sample 3 minute regime and the purge 3 minute regime.

The following outputs were generated through this research:
Published Reports
"Monitoring of Gas Emissions at Landfill Sites Using Autonomous Gas Sensors"
Breda M. Kiernan, Stephen Beirne, Cormac Fay, Dermot Diamond
STRIVE Report Series No. 53, Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland, 2010,
ISBN: 978-1-84095-353-4
http://www.epa.ie/downloads/pubs/research/tech/name,28454,en.html

Published Papers
?Autonomous greenhouse gas measurement system for analysis of gas migration on landfill sites?
Stephen Beirne, Breda M. Kiernan, Cormac Fay, Colum Foley, Brian Corcoran, Alan F. Smeaton, and Dermot Diamond
Proceedings of IEEE Sensors Applications Symposium, pp. 143-148, Limerick, Ireland, 23?25 February 2010

?Determination of carbon dioxide gas concentration using infrared gas sensors and neural networks with Bayesian regularization?
King-Tong Lau, Weimin Guo, Breda Kiernan, Conor Slater, Dermot Diamond
Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 2009, 1(2), pp. 242-247

?Measurement of Representative Landfill Gas Migration Samples at Landfill Perimeters: A Case Study?
Breda M. Kiernan, Stephen Beirne, Cormac Fay and Dermot Diamond
Published in conference proceedings Twenty-Fourth International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management, pp. 941-952, Philadelphia, PA, USA, March 15 - 18, 2009

"Development of an Autonomous Greenhouse Gas Monitoring System"
Breda M. Kiernan, Cormac Fay, Stephen Beirne and Dermot Diamond
Proceedings of World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Volume 34 October 2008, pp.153-157, Venice, Italy, October 29-31 2008

?Chemical species concentration measurement via wireless sensors?
Jer Hayes, Stephen Beirne, Conor Slater, Breda M. Kiernan, King-Tong Lau and Dermot Diamond
Proceedings of World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Volume 34 October 2008, pp.158-162, Venice, Italy, October 29-31 2008

"Landfill Gas Monitoring at Borehole Wells using an Autonomous Environmental Monitoring System?
Breda M. Kiernan, Stephen Beirne, Cormac Fay and Dermot Diamond
Proceedings of World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Vol.33, September 2008, Heidelberg, Germany, Sept. 24-26th 2008, pp.166-171


?A wireless sensor network for methane monitoring?
Jer Hayes, Conor Slater, Breda Kiernan, Claire Dunphy, Weimin Guo, King-Tong Lau, Dermot Diamond
Proc. of SPIE, Vol. 6755, 675504, 2007

?Autonomous monitoring of landfill gas migration at borehole wells on landfill sites using wireless technology?
Breda Kiernan, Weimin Guo, Conor Slater, Jer Hayes, Dermot Diamond
Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology, Kos Island, Greece, 5-7 September, 2007, Vol. A, pp. 679-685

?Wireless monitoring of landfill gas emissions?
Breda Kiernan, Conor Slater, Jer Hayes, Dermot Diamond
The 22nd International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management Philadelphia, PA, USA, 18th-22nd March 2007

Poster Presentations
?Development of Autonomous Gas Monitoring Systems?
Breda M. Kiernan, Stephen Beirne, Cormac Fay and Dermot Diamond
CLARITY Open Day, UCD, November 23rd, 2009

?Gas Monitoring in the Environment using IR Sensing Techniques?
Breda Kiernan, Cormac Fay, Stephen Beirne, Dermot Diamond
The Symposium on Vibrational Spectroscopy hosted by IRDG/NCSR at Dublin City University, Dublin, April 17th 2008

?Wireless monitoring of landfill soil/gas emissions?
Breda Kiernan, Conor Slater, King-Tong Lau, Dermot Diamond
The 22nd International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 18-21 March 2007

?Autonomous Sensors for Environmental Monitoring Applications?
John Cleary, Breda Kiernan, Tanja Radu, Conor Slater, Dermot Diamond
US/Ireland R&D Open Day, Dublin, February 20th 2007

Oral Presentations
?Development of Autonomous Environmental Monitoring Systems: From Concept to Prototype?
Breda M. Kiernan, John Cleary, Stephen Beirne, Damien Maher, Cormac Fay, Gary Carroll and Dermot Diamond
Presented at CLARITY Open Day, UCD, November 23rd 2009

?Measurement of Representative Landfill Gas Migration Samples at Landfill Perimeters: A Case Study?
Breda M. Kiernan, Stephen Beirne, Cormac Fay and Dermot Diamond
Presented at the Twenty-Fourth International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management, Philadelphia, PA, USA, March 15 - 18, 2009

"Development of an Autonomous Greenhouse Gas Monitoring System"
Breda M. Kiernan, Cormac Fay, Stephen Beirne and Dermot Diamond
Presented at the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Venice, Italy October 29-31 2008

"Landfill Gas Monitoring at Borehole Wells using an Autonomous Environmental Monitoring System"
Breda M. Kiernan, Stephen Beirne, Cormac Fay and Dermot Diamond
Presented at the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Heidelberg, Germany, Sept. 24-26th, 2008

?How do we use chemistry in monitoring the Environment?
Breda M. Kiernan
Presented at Science Camp 2008 hosted by Dept. of Chemistry, Dublin City University, June 13th and June 19th 2008

?Smart Landfill Gas Monitoring?
Breda Kiernan, Cormac Fay, Stephen Beirne and Dermot Diamond
Presented at OEE Technical Meeting, Dublin 5/6th March 2008 at Griffith College, South Circular Road, Dublin

?Fully Integrated Autonomous Analytical Platforms for Environmental Applications?
Breda M. Kiernan, John Cleary, Tanja Radu, Conor Slater, Daniel Kim and Dermot Diamond
Presented at NCSR Environmental Research Symposium on October 24th 2007

?Autonomous monitoring of landfill gas migration at borehole wells on landfill sites using wireless technology?
Breda Kiernan, Weimin Guo, Conor Slater, Jer Hayes and Dermot Diamond
Presented at the 10th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology, Kos Island, Greece, September 5-7th 2007
Links To Other Related Resources
  http://www.dcu.ie/chemistry/asg/kiernab (Opens in a new window)
  http://www.epa.ie/downloads/pubs/research/tech/name,28455,en.html (Opens in a new window)

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