Standardization of flux chamber and wind tunnel flux measurements for quantifying volatile organic compound and ammonia emissions from area sources at animal feeding operations
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A variety of portable wind tunnels and flux chambers have been used to measure fluxes of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and ammonia (NH3) at animal feeding operations (AFO). However, there has been little regard to the extreme variation and potential inaccuracies caused by air velocity or sweep air flow rates that are either too low or too high to simulate field conditions. There is a need for correction factors to standardize flux chamber and wind tunnel measurements. In this manuscript, we present results of water evaporative flux and VOC flux measurements with the EPA flux chamber and a small wind tunnel. In the EPA flux chamber, water evaporative flux was positively correlated with sweep air flow rate (SAFR) between 1 and 20 L min-1 (r2 = 0.981-0.999) and negatively correlated with sweep air relative humidity between 0 and 80% (r2 = 0.982-0.992). Emissions of gas-film controlled compounds like NH3 and VOC at AFOs were positively correlated with evaporation rates between 0.6 and 2.8 mm d-1. We demonstrate a simple methodology for standardizing and comparing different chamber types by measuring water evaporation within the chamber using a gravimetric mass balance approach under controlled laboratory conditions. A water evaporative flux ratio correction factor (EFRCF) was used to improve the accuracy of field-measured VOC and NH3 chamber flux measurements. In a field study, both the EPA flux chamber (SAFR = 5 L min-1) and small wind tunnel (SAFR = 1 L min-1) underestimated the true field emissions of VOC, with EFRCFs of 2.42 and 3.84, respectively. EFRCFs are recommended for all but the driest of soil and manure conditions. 2012.