The “System of Systems” Solutions for Commercial Field-Level Quantification of Soil Organic Carbon and Nitrous Oxide Emission for Scalable Applications (SYMFONI)

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Champaign, Illinois
Project Term:
02/25/2021 - 02/28/2026

Technology Description:

The University of Illinois will develop a commercial solution, SYMFONI, to estimate soil organic carbon (SOC) and the dynamics of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions at an individual field level to promote advanced carbon management and sustainability practices in agricultural systems. The solution can be scaled up to perform per-field estimates for an entire region. SYMFONI integrates (1) synergistic modeling of SOC and N2O; (2) use of novel satellite/airborne data and algorithms; (3) innovative sampling of high-resolution, high-frequency soil moisture; (4) development of physics-guided deep learning; (5) mobile sensing of atmospheric inversion (horizontal layers of air that increase in temperature with height) for further uncertainty reduction at the regional scale; (6) a unique data collection effort studying the N2O and SOC hot spots and hot moments; and (7) thorough system uncertainty quantification.

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. Steven Singer
Project Contact:
Prof. Kaiyu Guan
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


SUNY University at Buffalo
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
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