Methane Methane

Industrial Methane Measurement Conference - Abstract

Abstract Title: Development of a controlled leak test rig, and results of a pilot proficiency testing scheme to evaluate the performance of fugitive methane emission detection and quantification methods.
Presenter Name: Mr Jonathan Helmore
Co-authors:Mr Nigel Yarrow
Dr Neil Howes
Ms Jessica Connolly
Mr Anthony Jenkins
Mr Alex Hazzard
Company/Organisation: National Physical Laboratory
Country: United Kingdom

Abstract Information :

The National Physical Laboratory collaborated with National Grid plc on the Monitoring of Real-time Fugitive Emissions MoRFE project from 2019 to 2021. One of the deliverables of this project was to evaluate the performance of commonly used methods for detecting and quantifying fugitive methane emissions from industrial processes. rnThe technical specifications of a pilot proficiency testing scheme were developed by reviewing the standardised methods for fugitive emissions detection and quantification, and technical parameters of the commonly employed techniques used by these methods, namely portable concentration detectors with high flow sampling, and optical gas imaging with quantification software. rnA controlled leakage test rig was developed from decommissioned industrial equipment which could output methane emissions in defined locations, and at emission rates with defined uncertainty and with metrological traceability.rnA pilot proficiency testing scheme round for fugitive methane emissions methods was conducted using the developed test bench. Three participants took part individually in three rounds of single blind tests containing up to five leaks each, two participants using portable concentration detectors with high flow sampling, and one using optical gas imaging with quantification software.rnThe results from the pilot scheme show that all participants and both methods performed well in terms of ability to detect and locate emissions of varying size accurately, in locations that were in the spatial scope to that method. However, both methods and all participants performed relatively poorly with regards to quantification accuracy, few results agreed with the reference values within their associated uncertainties, and the difference between results from different methods was greater than an order of magnitude in some cases. rnThe results from these tests show there is a significant need to progress the development of standard methods covering the use of these techniques, and to establish formal proficiency testing schemes for service providers offering fugitive emission surveys to industrial site operators.rn

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