Application of a small unmanned aerial system to measure ammonia emissions from a pilot amine-co2 capture system

Travis J. Schuyler, Bradley Irvin, Keemia Abad, Jesse G. Thompson, Kunlei Liu, Marcelo I. Guzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The quantification of atmospheric gases with small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) is expanding the ability to safely perform environmental monitoring tasks and quickly evaluate the impact of technologies. In this work, a calibrated sUAS is used to quantify the emissions of ammonia (NH3) gas from the exit stack a 0.1 MWth pilot-scale carbon capture system (CCS) employing a 5 M monoethanolamine (MEA) solvent to scrub CO2 from coal combustion flue gas. A comparison of the results using the sUAS against the ion chromatography technique with the EPA CTM-027 method for the standard emission sampling of NH3 shows good agreement. Therefore, the work demonstrates the usefulness of sUAS as an alternative method of emission measurement, supporting its application in lieu of traditional sampling techniques to collect real time emission data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6974
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
NASA funding through an R3 EPSCoR award (80NSSC19M0032) and a Kentucky Space Grant Graduate Fellowship award (NNX15AR69H) provided partial support for this research. The APC was funded by MDPI Sensors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Amine scrubbing
  • Ammonia emission
  • Coal
  • Flue gas
  • Monoethanolamine
  • Post-combustion CO capture
  • UAS
  • UAV
  • Unmanned

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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