Climate-KIC, Europe's largest public-private innovation partnership working to address the challenge of climate change, has awarded €1.266 million to FuME (Fugitive Methane Emissions), a new project that will help to identify fugitive methane emissions.
Fugitive methane emissions are of great importance to climate change and governments' and industry's response to it, due to its high global warming impact . Capturing fugitive methane emissions can also deliver a profitable return by directly producing saleable gas. Methane abatement options can therefore have a net profit, and even those that do not can be relatively cheap to deploy with large climate change mitigation benefits.
Better detection and quantification of fugitive methane emissions will contribute substantially to climate change mitigation, as methane represents 16% of total global greenhouse gas emissions and, due to the high global warming impact, more than a third of anthropogenic warming. As well as mitigation opportunities, this creates potentially huge opportunities for innovation and economic growth through the provision of new products and services for the sectors in which fugitive methane can be captured.
The project will develop methane measurement services, made up of a number of different products including modelling tools, a laser based open-path methane detection spectrometer and sensor networks in which the services can be adapted to user requirements depending on the sector, the complexity of the site, and the user requirements in each case.
The project will see the Centre for Carbon Measurement at NPL working with ARIA Technologies, CEREA and LSCE to adapt instrumentation, measurement techniques and methodologies for the target sectors. Industry representatives Cuadrilla Resources, Veolia Environnement and National Grid will provide sites and operational expertise to the project.
Publications from the project will include a set of guidelines per industry (municipal waste water treatment, transmission grid, shale gas extraction) for fugitive methane emission measurement best practice, a collection of reports summarizing the project results, scientific papers on different methods for quantifying fugitive methane emissions and the comparative accuracy levels, the learning from the project for emissions factors for municipal waste water treatment, the use of inverse modelling to estimate fugitive emissions when used in conjunction with measurements, as well as a comparison of different dispersion models.
The findings of this work are expected to contribute to standards and guideline documents for industry including for example Best Available Technology guidelines highlighting how to monitor sites and capture fugitive losses.
Jane Burston, head of the Centre for Carbon Measurement at the National Physical Laboratory said:
"Methane plays a big role in global warming. The IPCC recently updated their estimate of methane's global warming potential from 72 times that of carbon dioxide to 86 times over a 20 year time period. So it's a critical area to tackle for climate change mitigation. At the same time many opportunities to reduce fugitive losses are profit-making or cost neutral, so it's a potential business opportunity too."
Mary Ritter, Chief Executive Officer, Climate-KIC said:
"Methane is a significant driver of climate-change and a valuable resource. Fugitive methane emissions measurement services will help a wide range of operators to better manage their processes and increase their profitability. Climate-KIC is proud to fund the project and collaborate with FuME's consortium to fight climate change by stimulating clean innovation and growth in Europe. "
"We are delighted to partner with Climate-KIC on this important quest to validate a new generation of measurement technologies," said Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla Resources.
Neil Dawson, Environmental Engineering Manager, National Grid, said: "We want to make absolutely sure that our gas transmission business plays a part in tackling climate change. That's why we are bringing our expertise to the table to help develop methane measurement services to reduce fugitive methane emissions."
About the project partners
The organisation integrates education, entrepreneurship and innovation resulting in connected, creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into economically viable products or services that help to mitigate climate change.
Climate-KIC is one of three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created in 2010 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The EIT is an EU body whose mission is to create sustainable growth. Climate-KIC supports this mission by addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation.
At ARIA Technologies we specialise in computation of pollutant dispersion, meteorological analysis, wind, emission, and air quality modelling. ARIA Technologies works with leading European laboratories to offer the most suitable solutions to industry, governments, and engineering consultancies.
Members of Cuadrilla's management team have each played leading roles in the drilling and/or hydraulic fracturing of several thousand natural gas and oil wells around the world. The company aims to be a model for the safe and environmentally responsible exploration and development of onshore gas resources in the UK. The Cuadrilla team is acutely aware of all the responsibilities this brings, particularly with regard to safety, environmental protection and working with local communities.
Veolia Environnement develops innovative solutions to reduce and avoid greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions for all its activities, from assessment all the way to technical solutions, applicable to Group's own facilities, those it manages and the services it offers.
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