Emissions of Reactive Organics from Natural Gas-Fueled Engines

  • Principal Investigators: Seth Lyman (USU), Huy Tran (USU)
  • Study Period: July 1, 2020, – December 31, 2021
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $117,300
  • DAQ Contact: Lexie Wilson (lexiewilson@utah.gov)

We propose a project to improve estimates of the magnitude and composition of emissions from natural gas-fueled artificial lift engines in the Uinta Basin. Recent ambient air measurements have implicated natural gas-fueled engines as a large source of reactive organics, including formaldehyde, ethylene, propylene, and other compounds. These compounds are under-represented in the Utah Air Agencies Oil and Gas Emissions Inventory (UEI), and measurement-based updates to the inventory are needed to account for their sources.

The current UEI uses emission factors for engines that are out of date and were not collected in our region. These emission factors need to be updated with more detailed, current, local data. We will fill this gap by (1) measuring emissions of NOx, organics, and other compounds from natural gas-fueled engines in the Uinta Basin, (2) gathering existing emissions information from the literature and comparing it to measurement results, (3) updating the 2017 UEI with this new information, and (4) evaluating the impact of these inventory updates on the performance of a three-dimensional photochemical model.

This work will allow the Utah Division of Air Quality (Utah DAQ) to understand more accurately and model this source of ozone-forming pollution in the Uinta Basin and develop science-based, effective emissions reduction strategies for wintertime ozone.