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Methane Mitigation

Gas detector installed near turbine gas compressor to detect and alarm if gas leak occurs.
If a gas leak occurs, a gas detector provides a warning.

While natural gas is an abundant domestic resource with relatively low carbon emissions, NETL is focused on mitigation-centered research that will develop a suite of natural gas emissions reduction technologies capable of improving the resiliency, lifespan, and efficiency of natural gas infrastructure components to facilitate a “leak-tight” natural gas value chain. A critical element of transmission and delivery efficiency is the detection and mitigation of unexpected leaks, as well as the technological advancement of key gathering and boosting system components known to be sources of methane emissions, such as reciprocating compressors, gas engine slip, and pneumatic controllers. In addition to improving the transmission efficiency and emissions of these components, NETL is also focused on developing advanced mitigation solutions for pipeline leakage, including advanced pipeline sleeves and liners, inline inspection tools, and novel coatings to improve the resiliency of both new and legacy systems.

Projects in NETL’s Methane Emissions Mitigation research portfolio aim to develop, modify, and evaluate cost-efficient and effective tools, technologies, and materials to mitigate methane emissions from natural gas transmission and storage infrastructure. Specific goals include:

  • Develop advanced materials, such as alloys and coatings, for reducing the likelihood of leaks from legacy pipeline systems.
  • Enhance ability to assess risk and prevent leaks, including inspecting, identifying, and analyzing in situ legacy pipeline materials, including in-place repair technologies.
  • Reduce methane emissions from operational activity, including integrated sensor and control systems with real-time data collection and analysis related to gas quality, leak detection, and pipeline material conditions.
  • Reduce methane emissions from natural gas system equipment and components such as tanks and separators, including lower-cost retrofit options for reducing methane emissions in legacy components.