Technology Manager, Oil & Gas
U.S. Department of Energy, NETL
16:00 - 16:30
Tuesday, 17 September 2019
T2.2 DOE Natural Gas Infrastructure Research Program Targets Methane Emissions
The overall objective of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Natural Gas Infrastructure Research Program is to develop tools, methods, and technologies to cost-effectively enhance the safety and efficiency of the nation’s natural gas production, gathering, storage, and transmission infrastructure. Specifically, the program targets the development of technologies that can reduce the volumes of methane emitted during the operation of this infrastructure by reducing routine operations-related emissions and capturing and utilizing flared or vented natural gas. Reducing methane emissions enhances safety, reduces natural resource waste, and increases sales gas volumes. All of these are important factors in optimizing the performance of a critical part of the U.S. energy delivery system that is growing rapidly and will become increasingly important in the future. The portfolio of current or recently completed R&D projects includes the development of a “smart” methane emission detection system that applies machine learning techniques to passive optical sensing modalities to mitigate emissions through early detection, a novel liquid seal for reducing emissions from reciprocating compressors, a remote methane sensor that employs chirped-laser dispersion spectroscopy on aircraft and vehicle platforms to detect leaks along midstream infrastructure, an internal coating for pipeline application with embedded sensors to detect changes in pipeline conditions, new distributed fiber optical sensing technology that can identify potential methane leaks over long distances (e.g., up to 100 km) with spatial resolution of 1 meter, and an industrial-scale process for forming superlubric coatings using graphene-nanodiamonds, that can be applied to the dry gas seals in gas compressors to reduce methane leakage.