LI-COR Presents Landfill Methane Emission Data at Global Waste Management Symposium

October 9, 2012, Phoenix, Arizona

Measuring greenhouse gas emissions at landfills using continuous monitoring offers new insight in estimating total annual emissions. LI‑COR Principal Scientist, Liukang Xu presented methane emission data collected from a landfill at Global Waste Management Symposium in Phoenix, AZ on October 1st, 2012 and discussed the advantages of continuous monitoring over traditional interval monitoring. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has recently enacted a new rule related to the mandatory reporting of greenhouse gases, which requires some municipal solid waste landfills to report their emissions of greenhouse gases, including methane.

The talk entitled, ‘Impact of Changes in Barometric Pressure on Landfill Methane Emission,’ showed greenhouse gas data collected from a landfill and demonstrated the need for continuous measurements to estimate annual total of methane emissions at landfills. “The research shows that methane emissions strongly depend on barometric pressure changes, leading to large variations between methane emissions from day-to-day,” says Liukang Xu, principal scientist.  The results showed that measurements taken at weekly or quarterly time intervals using techniques other than continual monitoring will have large variation in measured emission rates and inevitably yield large uncertainties.

Eddy Covariance is the most widely used method for continuous monitoring. Eddy Covariance is an accurate and direct method presently available for quantifying exchanges of carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, various other gases, and energy between the surface of earth and the atmosphere. For more information on this method, go to

The Global Waste Management Symposium serves as a forum for the presentation of both applied and fundamental research and case studies on waste management. The 3-day event serves the needs of the landfill community within the solid waste and recycling industry and hosts participants from a community of designers, facility owners and operators, policymakers, and researchers from around the world.

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