Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1561
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1561
19 Jun 2024
 | 19 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Comparing space-based to reported carbon monoxide emission estimates for Europe’s iron & steel plants

Gijs Leguijt, Joannes D. Maasakkers, Hugo A. C. Denier van der Gon, Arjo J. Segers, Tobias Borsdorff, Ivar R. van der Velde, and Ilse Aben

Abstract. We use satellite observations of carbon monoxide (CO) to estimate CO emissions from European integrated iron & steel plants, the continent’s highest emitting CO point sources. We perform analytical inversions to estimate emissions from 21 individual plants using observations from the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) for 2019. As prior emissions, we use values reported by the facilities to the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR). These reported emissions vary in estimation methodology, including both measurements and calculations. With the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, we perform an ensemble of simulations with different transport settings to best replicate the observed emission plumes for each day and site. Comparing the inversion-based emission estimates to the E-PRTR reports, nine of the plants agree within uncertainties. For the remaining plants, we generally find lower emission rates than reported. Our posterior emission estimates are well-constrained by the satellite observations (90 % of the plants have averaging kernel sensitivities above 0.7) except for a few low-emitting or coastal sites. We find agreement between our inversion results and emissions we estimate using the Cross-Sectional Flux (CSF) method for the seven strongest-emitting plants, building further confidence in the inversion estimates. Finally, for four plants with large year-to-year variability in reported emission rates or large differences between the reported emission rate and our posterior estimate, we extend our analysis to 2020. We find no evidence in either the observed carbon monoxide concentrations or our inversion results for strong changes in emission rates. This demonstrates how satellites can be used to identify potential uncertainties in reported emissions.

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Gijs Leguijt, Joannes D. Maasakkers, Hugo A. C. Denier van der Gon, Arjo J. Segers, Tobias Borsdorff, Ivar R. van der Velde, and Ilse Aben

Status: open (until 31 Jul 2024)

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Gijs Leguijt, Joannes D. Maasakkers, Hugo A. C. Denier van der Gon, Arjo J. Segers, Tobias Borsdorff, Ivar R. van der Velde, and Ilse Aben
Gijs Leguijt, Joannes D. Maasakkers, Hugo A. C. Denier van der Gon, Arjo J. Segers, Tobias Borsdorff, Ivar R. van der Velde, and Ilse Aben

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Short summary
The production of steel coincides with large emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants including carbon monoxide. European facilities are required to report their emissions, which are estimated using a variety of methods. We evaluate these estimates using carbon monoxide concentrations measured using a satellite. We find generally good agreement between our values and those reported but also identify some uncertainties, showing that satellites can provide insights on these emissions.