Recent severe weather events have caused considerable damage to the Houston region.
Developing Methane Sensors for Leak Detection in Oil and Gas Operations
HARC is working with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to identify inexpensive methane sensors that can be deployed in a variety of oil and gas operations to rapidly identify and facilitate repair of natural gas leaks. This will allow for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in an industry that is extremely important to Texas, the U.S. and world energy needs and will be for many decades to come.
The project is lead by Alex Cuclis, Research Scientist in Air Emissions and Monitoring. Alex is working with EDF to identify methane monitors suitable for testing based on their current level of development. The project team will design a lab or field-based testing protocol to detect natural gas emissions at oil and gas facilities. The goal of the project is to find ways to mass produce methane emissions sensors at a low cost so that oil and gas operators will purchase, install and make full use of these analyzers.
In 2008 and 2009, the City of Houston published an Emissions Reduction Plan that has driven much of the City’s current energy efficiency and renewable energy activity.
Advanced engine control strategies and after-treatment control strategies are being developed to meet stringent emissions regulations for large diesel engines.
The oil and gas industry is adopting technologies for cleaner generators and the application of emission controls on diesel engines. Members of the industry are also switching from diesel engines to engines that operate on cleaner natural gas.