EGU2020-18919, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Methane Emission Source Attribution and Quantification for Munich Oktoberfest

Jia Chen1, Florian Dietrich1, Sebastian Lober1, Konstantin Krämer1, Graham Legget4, Hugo Denier van der Gon3, Ilona Velzeboer3, Carina van der Veen2, and Thomas Röckmann2
Jia Chen et al.
  • 1Environmental Sensing and Modeling, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Munich, Germany (
  • 2Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 3Climate, Air and Sustainability, TNO, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 4LI-COR Biosciences UK Ltd., UK

Up to now, festivals have not been considered a significant methane (CH4) emission source and events with a limited duration were not included in the emission inventories. We have intensively investigated the Munich Oktoberfest, the world’s largest folk festival, for two consecutive years. Oktoberfest is a potential source for CH4 as a high amount of natural gas (about 200,000 m³) for cooking and heating is used.

The results from our 2018 investigation show that CH4 emissions at Oktoberfest not only come from human biogenic emissions. It is more likely that fossil-fuel related emissions are the major contributors to the Oktoberfest emissions (Chen et al. 2019). In 2019, our goal was to look closer into the source attribution. We used both a portable gas measurement system (LI-COR LI‑7810 Trace Gas Analyzer) in a backpack to measure the CH4 concentrations, and air sampling bags to examine the ethane/methane ratio and isotopic composition of the exhaust gas (δ13C, δD).

We walked around the perimeter of Oktoberfest to measure the CH4 concentration upwind and downwind of the Oktoberfest premises for several hours each day during the two-week festival. In addition, we entered the festival with our instrument to investigate the emission hotspots, i.e. tents and booths, thoroughly. The measurements were carried out both during and after the time of the festival to compare the differences in emission strength and distribution.

The backpack measurements around the Oktoberfest perimeter show enhancements up to several hundred ppb compared to background values and measurements performed after the festival. The concentration enhancements on the premises were even higher: up to 3,000 ppb for hotspot regions. The ethane/methane ratios and isotopic measurements show clear indications that the emission sources are thermogenic.

Furthermore, a CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulation was developed to simulate the gas dispersion within and around the terrain. The simulation uses Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations and the k-ε turbulence model for the fluid flow. Wind speed and direction measurements taken close to the festival area were used as the boundary conditions. The dispersion of methane is solved afterwards using the unsteady convection-diffusion equation.

We will present the strengths and spatial/temporal distributions of the Oktoberfest emissions, assessed using the backpack measurements combined with a CFD model. Further, a comparison between the results of two consecutive years will be given. 


Chen, J., Dietrich, F., Maazallahi, H., Forstmaier, A., Winkler, D., Hofmann, M. E. G., Denier van der Gon, H., and Röckmann, T.: Methane Emissions from the Munich Oktoberfest, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,, in review, 2019

How to cite: Chen, J., Dietrich, F., Lober, S., Krämer, K., Legget, G., Denier van der Gon, H., Velzeboer, I., van der Veen, C., and Röckmann, T.: Methane Emission Source Attribution and Quantification for Munich Oktoberfest, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18919,, 2020

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