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Quantifying methane emissions

  • A project to quantify methane emissions from distribution pipelines for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) was completed, providing important information on natural gas leaks from local distribution companies and improving methane emission estimates from this sector. State-specific emission factors based on pipe material were developed and utilized to estimate methane emissions at the state level. The next phase of work is focusing on methane emissions from residential customer meters.
  • In addition, GTI is performing an assessment of fugitive emissions from the natural gas system in commercial buildings for the California Energy Commission that will quantify total building emissions. These efforts will help to create a holistic picture of the total leakage from natural gas activities in California. Field data collection, starting in commercial restaurants, is getting underway.
  • GTI and partners received a DOE award to conduct field campaigns to measure methane emissions from new and vintage plastic, plastic-lined steel, and cast-iron pipes, as well as from industrial meters. Information collected on parameters will allow further classification of pipeline and meter emission categories to improve the EPA’s U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory and help operators prioritize the repair of leaks.
  • GTI and RTI International will serve as subcontractors to PPG Industries in a DOE-sponsored project to develop and demonstrate a system to provide remote monitoring of natural gas pipeline conditions and to provide early detection of factors that may lead to an unintended release of methane.

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