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Comparing Methods for Determining Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Stationary Sources



Rodney A. Bryant, Matthew F. Bundy, Ruowen Zong


The largest source of carbon dioxide emissions is fossil fuel combustion. Since 1990, more than 90% of carbon dioxide emissions within the United States have come from fossil fuel combustion. Stationary sources such as power plants and industrial facilities have accounted for greater than 50% of these emissions. These large and localized contributors are therefore a logical choice for examining the accuracy of greenhouse gas reporting. A variety of methods are available to determine the emissions from stationary sources. Cross-checking the results of the various methods is a necessary step to evaluate the current level of practice of measurement science as applied to emissions measurements. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is currently expanding its capabilities to address these measurement science needs by developing a carbon dioxide emissions test bed for evaluating current stack-mounted test methods and continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS). Experiments were conducted at the NIST Large Fire Research Laboratory, using an 8 MW natural gas burner to generate precise and accurate quantities of carbon dioxide at near-industrial scale. Measurements necessary to determine carbon dioxide emission rates were conducted at the fuel supply and in the flue gas. Three methods for determining emissions from stationary sources are considered here: calculation of emissions based on fuel sample analysis and fuel consumption measurements, calculation of emissions based on default emission factors and fuel consumption measurements, and direct measurements of emissions quantities in the flue gas. A comparison of the results of the three methods will be presented.
Proceedings Title
38th Stationary Source Sampling and Analysis for Air Pollutants Conference
Conference Dates
March 2-7, 2014
Conference Location
Point Clear, AL


greenhouse gas emissions, emissions measurements, carbon dioxide
Created March 3, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017