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Air Pollution From Oil and Gas Industries Visible From Space: Study

Air pollution from oil, gas production sites visible from space

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Oil gas industry
Researchers have seen a significant increase in the release of the lung-irritating air pollutant nitrogen dioxide and a more-than-doubling of the amount of gas flared into the atmosphere. Pixabay

Oil and gas production has doubled in some parts of the United States in the last two years, as researchers have seen a significant increase in the release of the lung-irritating air pollutant nitrogen dioxide and a more-than-doubling of the amount of gas flared into the atmosphere.

“We see the industry’s growing impact from space, we really are at the point where we can use satellite data to give feedback to companies and regulators, and see if they are successful in regulating emissions,” said study lead author Barbara Dix from University of Colorado Boulder in the US.

For the study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, researchers set out to see if a suite of satellite-based instruments could help scientists understand more about nitrogen oxides pollution (including nitrogen dioxide) coming from engines in US oil and gas fields.

Combustion engines produce nitrogen oxides, which is a respiratory irritant and can lead to the formation of other types of harmful air pollutants, such as ground-level ozone, the research said.

Oil gas industry
On oil and gas drilling and production sites, there may be several small and large combustion engines, drilling, compressing gas, separating liquids and gases, and moving gas and oil through pipes and storage containers. Pixabay

According to the researchers, on oil and gas drilling and production sites, there may be several small and large combustion engines, drilling, compressing gas, separating liquids and gases, and moving gas and oil through pipes and storage containers.

The emissions of those engines are not controlled.

“Conventional ‘inventories’ meant to account for nitrogen oxides pollution from oil and gas sites are often very uncertain, underestimating or overestimating the pollutants,” said study co-author Joost de Gouw.

“And there are few sustained measurements of nitrogen oxides in many of the rural areas where oil and gas development often takes place,” Dix said.

So the research team turned to nitrogen dioxide data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on board a NASA satellite and the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TropOMI) on a European Space Agency satellite.

They also looked at gas flaring data from an instrument on the NOAA/NASA Suomi satellite system.

Between 2007 and 2019, across much of the US, nitrogen dioxide pollution levels dropped because of cleaner cars and power plants, the team found, confirming findings reported previously.

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The clean air trend in satellite data was most obvious in urban areas of California, Washington and Oregon and in the eastern half of the continental US.

However, several areas stuck out with increased emissions of nitrogen dioxide: The Permian, Bakken and Eagle Ford oil and gas basins, in Texas and New Mexico, North Dakota, and Texas, respectively, the study said. (IANS)

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New EUV-Equipped Chips By Samsung Get into Mass Production

Samsung said the cumulative investment in the V1 line will reach $6 billion by the end of this year

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Samsung
The South Korean tech giant said the EUV-equipped facility, named V1, in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, can produce chips using a process node of 7 nanometers (nm) and that its first products will be delivered to customers in the first quarter. Wikimedia Commons

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest memory chipmaker, has said its new semiconductor fabrication line in South Korea using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology has begun mass production.

The South Korean tech giant said the EUV-equipped facility, named V1, in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, can produce chips using a process node of 7 nanometers (nm) and that its first products will be delivered to customers in the first quarter.

Samsung broke ground for the facility in February 2018 and began to test wafer production in the second half of 2019, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday.

“Last year, here at this site, we began our vision of becoming the world’s No. 1 system chipmaker,” Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong said after visiting the production line. “We need to continue our efforts to make these chips represent our dream of contributing to human society.”

Samsung last year announced it will invest 133 trillion won ($111 billion) by 2030 to expand its non-memory and foundry businesses.

The V1 line is currently producing mobile chips with 7 and 6-nm process technology, according to Samsung. The facility will adopt finer circuitry up to a 3-nm process node in the future, it said.

Samsung
Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest memory chipmaker, has said its new semiconductor fabrication line in South Korea using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology has begun mass production. Wikimedia Commons

Samsung said the cumulative investment in the V1 line will reach $6 billion by the end of this year.

“The adoption of EUV lithography technology has become increasingly important, as it enables scaling down of complex patterns on wafers and provides an optimal choice for next-generation applications such as 5G, AI and automotive,” Samsung said in a release. “Together with the S3 line, the V1 line is expected to play a pivotal role in responding to fast-growing global market demand for single-digit node foundry technologies.”

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Samsung now has a total of six foundry production lines in South Korea and the US. (IANS)