Integrating Sensors, Remote Sensing and DNDC Model for Quantifying GHG Emissions

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Durham, New Hampshire
Project Term:
09/21/2021 - 03/20/2024

Critical Need:

Agricultural and land-based carbon removal, management, and storage is critical to comprehensive climate change mitigation strategies. New technologies to support necessary carbon markets are needed, although robust carbon markets already exist for biofuels. The goal of removing and sequestering more carbon along the biofuel supply chain than it emits requires feedstock producers to adopt new technologies and practices that simultaneously improve yield, drive down production-associated emissions, and enhance carbon sequestration in soils. Carbon management incentives exist downstream in the biofuel supply chain, but not in feedstock production because monitoring and verifying its emissions are too costly to conduct at the field level. Feedstock producers receive the national average for feedstock-production emissions despite significant variations in state and regional averages, as well as field-level estimates. Producers need detailed accounting of biofuel life cycle inputs (e.g., energy, nutrients, chemicals) and outputs (e.g., energy, co-products, emissions) to establish a reliable baseline against which to measure progress.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Environmental drivers that cause the production and flux of nitrous oxide (N2O) and spatial and temporal variability of soil carbon stocks create challenges to cost-effectively quantify N2O emissions and soil carbon stock changes at scale. Dagan aims to build, validate, and demonstrate an integrated system to reliably and economically measure field-level soil carbon and N2O emissions. The system will consist of a field sampling and measurement system; subfield scale process modeling to improve the quantification of soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions; a detailed model validation system for quantifying model uncertainty; and an operational platform for implementing the system at scale. The system is designed to provide an alternative quantification platform for N2O and soil carbon estimates compared with direct measurement in all fields. It will more economically support quantification of carbon intensity of feedstock production. The system will enable feedstock producers to make informed and economic decisions to reduce carbon intensity of their feedstock production systems.

Potential Impact:

Reducing the uncertainty of emissions quantification is critical to realizing the revenue potential of carbon management markets.


New technologies will maintain U.S. leadership in sustainable biofuel production and advanced carbon removal and management.


These technologies will help incentivize continued emissions reductions throughout the biofuel and bioeconomy supply chains while enabling new opportunities to leverage agriculture and managed land systems to perform carbon removal, management, and storage to address climate change.


Enabling producers to participate in carbon management markets would complement yield-based revenues with economic incentives for input efficiency, climate change mitigation, and restorative practices.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Olga Spahn
Project Contact:
Dr. William Salas
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


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