• ABB Secures US Department of Energy Funding to Revolutionize Methane Emissions Monitoring

Air Monitoring

ABB Secures US Department of Energy Funding to Revolutionize Methane Emissions Monitoring

Nov 08 2023

ABB, has secured substantial funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), from the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). This financial support, totalling $1 million, will catalyse the development of an Integrated Methane Monitoring Platform. This groundbreaking platform aims to drive innovation in methane measurement, monitoring, and mitigation technologies within the United States. Notably, 80 percent of the project's value is contributed by the DOE, with ABB providing the remaining 20 percent.

Presently, methane emissions are monitored using a variety of methods by academic researchers, industry players, and technology providers. These methods vary widely in terms of performance and data quality. On one end of the spectrum, sensors offer quasi-continuous monitoring of methane emissions in natural gas production regions, providing data with limited accuracy at 15-minute intervals. On the other end, sensors mounted on aircraft and satellites conduct periodic patrols over larger regions, searching for 'super-emitters.' Data from these diverse sources is typically recorded, analysed, and visualised independently, lacking a unified data repository.

With the DOE's backing, ABB will craft an intricate engineering plan for the United States' first comprehensive methane monitoring platform. This platform will be dedicated to detecting, quantifying, and ultimately reducing methane emissions throughout the entire natural gas supply chain and infrastructure within the country.

Jean-René Roy, Global Business Line Manager at ABB, expressed their commitment, stating, "As a global leader in methane sensing technology, we have a big responsibility in this field. The Department of Energy funding will help us push the boundaries of emissions monitoring. The result of this work will be very tangible and can lead to a significant reduction of methane emissions throughout the United States, helping achieve sustainability targets."

Timothy Reinhardt, Director of the Division of Methane Mitigation Technologies at DOE's Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, also voiced support: "We are happy to fund the design of ABB's Integrated Methane Monitoring Platform as part of the project selection under the Department of Energy's Innovative Methane Measurement, Monitoring, and Mitigation Technologies (IM4 Technologies) funding opportunity. We believe that the project's scope fits in well with our goal to advance the development of new and innovative technologies to reduce and ultimately eliminate methane emissions from hydrocarbon infrastructure."

The Integrated Methane Monitoring Platform will offer the following features:

  • Aggregation of methane emission measurements recorded through various methods and across diverse time and space scales.
  • Utilisation of advanced Big Data analytics for data analysis.
  • Visualisation of data with comprehensive geospatial mapping.
  • Accessibility for stakeholders including industry, academia, government policymakers, and compliance entities to promptly identify and address issues while quantifying trends over short- and long-term scales and across small and large areas.

Leveraging ABB's profound expertise in measurement science, data aggregation, digital technologies, and advanced analytics, the platform will be meticulously engineered, designed, constructed, deployed, and operated. The system's capabilities will empower the rapid identification, localisation, and characterisation of 'super-emitters,' intermittent sources, and chronic, persistent, smaller emission sources, allowing stakeholders to take swift action in mitigating unwanted emissions.

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AET 27.4 November 2023

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