Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Publication Title

Atmospheric Measurement Techniques

ISSN

1867-8548

Volume

10

Issue

8

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/amt-10-2941-2017

Abstract

VOCs related to oil and gas extraction operations in the United States were measured by H3O+ chemical ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (H3O+ ToF-CIMS/PTR-ToF-MS) from aircraft during the Shale Oil and Natural Gas Nexus (SONGNEX) campaign in March–April 2015. This work presents an overview of major VOC species measured in nine oil- and gas-producing regions, and a more detailed analysis of H3O+ ToF-CIMS measurements in the Permian Basin within Texas and New Mexico. Mass spectra are dominated by small photochemically produced oxygenates and compounds typically found in crude oil: aromatics, cyclic alkanes, and alkanes. Mixing ratios of aromatics were frequently as high as those measured downwind of large urban areas. In the Permian, the H3O+ ToF-CIMS measured a number of underexplored or previously unreported species, including aromatic and cycloalkane oxidation products, nitrogen heterocycles including pyrrole (C4H5N) and pyrroline (C4H7N), H2S, and a diamondoid (adamantane) or unusual monoterpene. We additionally assess the specificity of a number of ion masses resulting from H3O+ ion chemistry previously reported in the literature, including several new or alternate interpretations.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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