Natural Gas Midstream
Methane Mitigation Thermoelectric Generator (MMTEG) Last Reviewed June 2017


The project goal is to develop Natural Gas (NG) leak mitigation technologies that will enable companies to effectively mitigate leaks from midstream equipment and/or facilities (including pneumatic valves, controllers, and field gathering lines) and capture additional natural gas while removing their individual contribution to overall methane emissions. The project will develop and test an integrated thermo-electric generator (TEG)/burner system as well as complete the design for a field pilot for oil and gas field operations. Targeted objectives for this project include:

  1. Design a prototype 12 We MMTEG with >7% efficient low NOx field system
  2. Fabricate an integrated TEG/burner per the 12 We MMTEG design
  3. Demonstrate the integrated TEG/burner in component testing
  4. Field system cost target of $1500 for 6 We system
  5. Equivalent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction of >1000:1 (assuming long term factor)
  6. Target reliability of >99.99% for the TEG subsystem
  7. TEG module efficiency > 9% peak (600ᵒC basis)

Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines, IL 60018

This project will use demonstrated advanced thermoelectrics to provide significantly higher system efficiency over commercially available TEG materials, coupled with an integrated burner-heat exchanger to achieve a low-cost system. The integration will utilize experience gained from another DOE program which developed a 1kW-class TEG for high-grade waste heat from automotive exhaust. This integration includes hot-side and cold-side heat exchangers, electrical circuitry and control electronics.

The project provides a near-term energy opportunity to recover between 1-2 million metric tons of methane emitted by intermittent pneumatic controllers annually in the U.S., and potentially 6-12 million metric tons per year globally. This is a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed system offers a low-cost, direct retrofit solution that will provide a short payback to increase implementation of the system.

Accomplishments (most recent listed first)
The Program Kickoff Meeting was held October 25, 2016, the Program Management Plan was updated, and the Space Act Agreement with NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) was finalized and signed. The following technical items have been completed to date:

  • System balance has been updated for the overall system performance/requirements.
  • Heat exchanger and “hot shoe” designs have been updated and are being iterated with JPL.
  • Cold shoe/heat rejection designs have been updated and are being iterated with JPL.

Current Status (June 2017)
Trade studies will be completed as part of the System Engineering task to define the overall system and its cost and optimize recoverable revenue by evaluating the following variables: TEG configuration, Burner configuration and geometry, compressor reliability, controls minimization, safety, and burner pressure drop. An Integrated TEG/Burner Design Review will be conducted with an anticipated completion date of December, 2017. Initial designs of the TEG Module have been initiated. Near term tasks include iteratation of TEG module, compatible compliant designs for the heat exchanger, "hot shoe," cold shoe/heat rejection components with JPL; heat transfer test which includes the assembly and gathering of data to verify heat transfer coefficients; and defining of the setup of the burner test to verify operation at lean, low flow conditions.

Project Start: October 1, 2016
Project End: September 30, 2018

DOE Contribution: $1,212,969
Performer Contribution: $349,138

Contact Information
NETL – Gary Covatch ( or 304-285-4589)
Gas Technology Institute – Jeff Mays ( or 818-405-9549)

Additional Information: