Methane leaks: A new way to find and fix in real time

Methane leaks: A new way to find and fix in real time

| 08/16/2016

Aerial view of a plume of methane leaking from an underground pipeline, as seen with the help of a unique imaging spectrometer that operates like a near-infrared camera. A research team was able to id

The technique led to the detection and immediate repair of two leaks in natural gas pipelines in the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest. The approach could inform strategies for meeting new federal limits on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Methane emissions have spiked in recent decades along with the boom in natural gas drilling. If there is a desire to identify and address the largest methane emitters, our approach provides a way to do that. The method shows that you can easily fly over an area and actually see the plumes in real time,” said Eric Kort, assistant professor of climate and space sciences and engineering at the University of Michigan and co-author on a paper about the research to be published inPNAS.

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