VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) related to oil and gas extraction operations in the United States were measured by H3O (sup plus) chemical ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (H3O (sup plus) ToFCIMS/PTR-ToF-MS (Time of Flight Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry/Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight-Mass Spectroscopy) from aircraft during the Shale Oil and Natural Gas Nexus (SONGNEX) campaign in March-April 2015. This work presents an overview of major VOC species measured in nine oil- and gas-producing regions, and a more detailed analysis of H3O (sup plus) ToF-CIMS measurements in the Permian Basin within Texas and New Mexico. Mass spectra are dominated by small photochemically produced oxygenates and compounds typically found in crude oil: aromatics, cyclic alkanes, and alkanes. Mixing ratios of aromatics were frequently as high as those measured downwind of large urban areas. In the Permian, the H3O (sup plus) ToF-CIMS measured a number of underexplored or previously unreported species, including aromatic and cycloalkane oxidation products, nitrogen heterocycles including pyrrole (C4H5N) and pyrroline (C4H7N), H2S, and a diamondoid (adamantane) or unusual monoterpene. We additionally assess the specificity of a number of ion masses resulting from H3O (sup plus) ion chemistry previously reported in the literature, including several new or alternate interpretations.
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (e-ISSN 1867-8548); 10; 8; 2941-2968