Simple and dynamic measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from the soil

News

Published: 12Aug2020

Invention 2019-099

Simple and dynamic measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from the soil

 

A novel sensor network system to detect the emission level of gas from the soil with applications in farming, environmental, and livestock industries.

 

Market Need

In most natural ecosystems the sources of greenhouse gas production are offset by the CO2 acceptors of grasslands and forests. As more intensive agriculture and logging operations increase around the world, however, studies are finding that agricultural soils are producing net emission levels similar to fossil fuels. To understand the full environmental impact, different on-site and off-site analytical methods have been implemented. Off-site methods provide a very detailed analysis with gas chromatography, but collection chambers are static, and the process is expensive. Tubing networks connected to a central unit are able to provide dynamic on-site analysis, but the equipment is expensive and regular collection of air samples has proven difficult.

 

Technology Summary

To address these issues, this technology uses a cost-efficient wireless sensor network system with separate chambers to collect data on soil gas emissions. Similar to the static chamber system, samples are collected by individual nodes placed throughout the field for collection at multiple time points. However, with the addition of a wireless sensor network system and a central gateway unit, the process becomes dynamic and on-site since the individual chambers house the sensors. With this simple collection method, measurements can be regularly scheduled in order to capture potential fluctuations in the gases emitted. This system is ready to be implemented as analytical standards of CO2 measurements are equivalent to the off-site gas chromatography method.

 

Advantages

  • Allows assessment of gas fluctuation at multiple time points from individual chambers spaced throughout the fields
  • Cost-efficient with inexpensive equipment and on-site analysis (off-site analysis still available)
  • Simple collection of data measurements from central database

 

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