Document Type


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Statler College of Engineering and Mining Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Other test method (OTM) 33A has been used to quantify emissions from natural gas sites since it was introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The method relies on point source Gaussian (PSG) assumptions to estimate emissions rates from a targeted site or source. However, the method often results in low accuracy (typically ±70%, even under conducive conditions). These accuracies were verified with controlled-release experiments. Typically, controlled releases were performed for short periods (15–20 min) under atmospheric conditions that were ideal for effective plume transport. We examined three methane release rates from three distances over various periods of time ranging from seven hours to seven days. Data were recorded continuously from a stationary tower. Atmospheric conditions were highly variable and not always conducive to conventional OTM 33A calculations. OTM 33A estimates were made for 20-min periods when the mean wind direction corresponded to ±90° of the direction from the controlled release to the tower. Further analyses were performed by varying the frequency of the data, the length of the individual OTM 33A periods and the size of the wind angle used to filter data. The results suggested that different (than conventionally used) period lengths, wind filters, data acquisition frequencies and data quality filters impacted the accuracy of OTM 33A when applied to long term measurements.

Source Citation

Heltzel, R.S.; Zaki, M.T.; Gebreslase, A.K.; Abdul-Aziz, O.I.; Johnson, D.R. Continuous OTM 33A Analysis of Controlled Releases of Methane with Various Time Periods, Data Rates and Wind Filters. Environments 2020, 7, 65.


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This article received support from the WVU Libraries' Open Access Author Fund.



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