Continuous Quantitative Methane Emission Monitor with Vent Discrimination

Physical Sciences Inc has been awarded a contract from the U S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to validate an innovative combination of proven and emerging continuous quantitative methane flux measurement technologies that will help achieve the environmental benefits of reducing methane emissions.

The hundreds of thousands of oil and gas storage tanks and tank batteries at upstream production sites are inadvertent intermittent, generally unmonitored, high flow rate (flux) methane emitters. Their emission rates are poorly quantified. Flux measurements are inhibited by the difficulty of directly accessing emission sources, instrument limitations, and the inability to distinguish between unintentional emission events versus routine venting.

PSI’s technology will provide easily installed laser-based continuous monitoring along tank battery perimeters. Configured with novel high-speed (10 Hz) measurement and spatial laser scanning, it will detect, quantify, and wirelessly report emissions. Its temporal resolution enables statistical data processing that recognizes routine vents. The laser technology is based on our transformative handheld Remote Methane Leak Detector (RMLD®) platform. In handheld and low-flying drone-mounted configurations, the laser scanning technique yields quantitative leak plume images that provides data for deducing flux.

PSI’s active laser technique overcomes many current limitations at significantly lower cost per unit. Oil and gas producers are driven by EPA regulations to begin deploying this technology in earnest c.2025 at costs <$10k per unit. The potential market far exceeds tens of thousands of units. This project will support advancing the technology to proven products that can be mass produced, installed, and operated at acceptable cost to meet these market needs.

For more information, contact:

Shin-Juh Chen
Group Leader, Industrial Sensors Group
Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003