Fossil Fuel Traps were developed at the Center for Contaminant Hydrology at Colorado State University over a five-year period after researchers there recognized the limitations of other CO₂ flux measurement approaches and saw the need for time-averaged measurements. To determine the effectiveness of Fossil Fuel Traps, researchers conducted two laboratory experiments and a field study, the results of which were published by Groundwater in 2014. Loss rates measured by the FFT in the field study indicated that LNAPL at the tested field site was naturally degrading at a rate of 13,400 to 130,000 L/ha/yr. In addition, the experiments and field study demonstrated three things:


  • The Fossil Fuel Trap's sorbent quantitatively recovers CO₂ up to the manufacturer's limit of 30% saturation.
  • The Fossil Fuel Trap design and deployment do not create preferential pathways or skewed results.
  • Fossil Fuel Traps are a practical and easy-to-use application for measuring soil gas flux.

Measurement of Natural Losses of LNAPL Using CO₂ Traps