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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Optimizing Trace Gas Storage Methods in Agroecosystem Studies

Authors
item Determan, John - UNIV OF MN-MORRIS
item Johnson, Jane
item Carpenter, Nancy - UNIV OF MN-MORRIS

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 21, 2004
Publication Date: April 21, 2004
Citation: Determan, J.J., Johnson, J.M., Carpenter, N. Optimizing trace gas storage methods in agroecosystem studies. University of Minnesota-Morris Undergraduate Research Symposium. 2004. Abstract p. 6.

Technical Abstract: In the early years of agricultural research, much of the research focused on maximizing crop yields. Dramatic increases in production have occurred and the research focus has shifted to minimizing environmental impacts of agriculture, while maintaining food production and profitability. Nitrous oxide (N2O), a trace gas, has been linked to important environmental concerns: the depletion of stratospheric ozone and global climate change. Nitrous oxide is an undesirable by-product of nitrogen fertilization of crops. Currently, studies are in place to determine which farm management system results in the least amount of N2O emission; thus, minimizing environmental impacts while allowing farming to remain a viable source of income. One such study is located on the USDA-ARS field facility. Trace gases (carbon dioxide, methane and N2O) are being collected with closed vented chambers. Currently, these gases are stored in syringes until they can be measured for N2O, methane and carbon dioxide using GC-flame ionization detection, GC-electron capture detection and GC-thermal conductivity detection spectrometry, respectively. The concentration of methane and N2O can be near the detection limits of the GC; therefore, it is critical to optimize storage and transport conditions, especially since it is difficult to store gases without leakage. Studies are needed to measure the amount of trace gas loss over the storage period and what amount of storage time can elapse before the leakage makes the measurements irrelevant. The report will discuss tests used to determine maximum storage time and optimum storage conditions.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014