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Plants emit small amounts of methane and large amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Measurements of plant methane emissions therefore require analysers that can provide accurate measurements of CH4 concentrations in the presence of changing amounts of VOCs. We therefore quantified to which degree various VOCs bias methane concentration measurements on different analysers. Our results show that some analysers are more sensitive to the presence of VOCs than others.
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BG | Articles | Volume 16, issue 17
Biogeosciences, 16, 3319–3332, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-3319-2019
Biogeosciences, 16, 3319–3332, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-3319-2019

Technical note 04 Sep 2019

Technical note | 04 Sep 2019

Technical note: Interferences of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on methane concentration measurements

Lukas Kohl et al.

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Aaltonen, H., Aalto, J., Kolari, P., Pihlatie, M., Pumpanen, J., Kulmala, M., Nikinmaa, E., Vesala, T., and Bäck, J.: Continuous VOC flux measurements on boreal forest floor, Plant Soil, 369, 241–256, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-012-1553-4, 2013. a
Assan, S., Baudic, A., Guemri, A., Ciais, P., Gros, V., and Vogel, F. R.: Characterization of interferences to in situ observations of δ13CH4 and C2H6 when using a cavity ring-down spectrometer at industrial sites, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 2077–2091, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-10-2077-2017, 2017. a
Carmichael, M. J., Bernhardt, E. S., Bräuer, S. L., and Smith, W. K.: The role of vegetation in methane flux to the atmosphere: Should vegetation be included as a distinct category in the global methane budget?, Biogeochemistry, 119, 1–24, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-014-9974-1, 2014. a
Covey, K. R. and Megonigal, J. P.: Methane production and emissions in trees and forests, New Phytologist, 222, 35–51, https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15624, 2019. a
Etiope, G.: Detecting and Measuring Gas Seepage, in: Natural Gas Seepage, pp. 63–84, Springer International Publishing, Cham, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-14601-0_4, 2015. a
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Short summary
Plants emit small amounts of methane and large amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Measurements of plant methane emissions therefore require analysers that can provide accurate measurements of CH4 concentrations in the presence of changing amounts of VOCs. We therefore quantified to which degree various VOCs bias methane concentration measurements on different analysers. Our results show that some analysers are more sensitive to the presence of VOCs than others.
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