CSU engines lab researchers measure methane emissions from natural gas transmission

By: Steve Tuesday June 11, 2013 0 comments Tags: Bryan Willson, Dan Zimmerle, Fort Collins, methane emissions, natural gas

Engines Lab logoFORT COLLINS - Colorado State University's Engines and Energy Conversion Lab is leading a nationwide field study to quantify methane emissions associated with the transmission and storage of natural gas through the nation's natural gas pipeline system and storage facilities, CSU announced.

This month a team led by Bryan Willson, CSU mechanical engineering professor, and researcher Dan Zimmerle will begin collecting data from potential methane sources in natural gas transmission, including compressor stations and underground storage facilities.

"The primary component of natural gas - methane - is a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide when released into the atmosphere uncombusted," Willson said.

"So understanding how much methane leaks at various points along the supply chain, including the transmission and storage segment, is critical to discerning the potential of natural gas to offer climate benefits in various fuel-switching scenarios."

CSU said an EPA report estimates the natural gas industry accounts for 25 percent of methane emissions with transmission and storage accounting for 30 percent of that total.

"This study will provide an additional, independent assessment for the transmission and storage sector that can be linked to other studies to allow an accurate, impartial, peer-reviewed and scientifically published estimate of leakage throughout the entire well-to-burner tip supply chain," Willson said.

Results are expected in the first half of 2014.

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