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Title: Total organic carbon measurements reveal major gaps in petrochemical emissions reporting
Anthropogenic organic carbon emissions reporting has been largely limited to subsets of chemically speciated volatile organic compounds. However, new aircraft-based measurements revealed total gas-phase organic carbon emissions that exceed oil sands industry–reported values by 1900% to over 6300%, the bulk of which was due to unaccounted-for intermediate-volatility and semivolatile organic compounds. Measured facility-wide emissions represented approximately 1% of extracted petroleum, resulting in total organic carbon emissions equivalent to that from all other sources across Canada combined. These real-world observations demonstrate total organic carbon measurements as a means of detecting unknown or underreported carbon emissions regardless of chemical features. Because reporting gaps may include hazardous, reactive, or secondary air pollutants, fully constraining the impact of anthropogenic emissions necessitates routine, comprehensive total organic carbon monitoring as an inherent check on mass closure.

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Award ID(s):
1764126 2011362
Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Page Range / eLocation ID:
426 to 432
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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