Methane Methane

Industrial Methane Measurement Conference - Abstract


Abstract Title: Industrial Deployment of Tunable Diode Lidar for Continuous, Autonomous Monitoring and Quantification of Methane Emissions
Presenter Name: Dr Doug Millington-Smith
Co-authors:Mr Matthew Williams
Mr Jonathan Helmore
Company/Organisation: QLM Technology Ltd
Country: United Kingdom

Abstract Information :

New technologies and associated methods of their implementation must be brought to bear on the emissions challenge rather than simply increasing the frequency of existing methods and technologies that are demonstrably inadequate to address the problem. For example, in-situ imaging technologies capable of detecting, quantifying and visualizing methane emissions can provide an emissions record of all components at an O&G facility both those that are emitting and those that are not. Such cameras also provide a credible baseline emissions measurement. When these imagers are automated and coupled with analytics, such systems can send actionable alerts subject to specific emissions thresholds and safety considerations so that significant events can get immediate attention and so super emitters can be fixed before they emit until the next LDAR cycle this ensures that emitters are detected if they are missed by LDAR. Implementing technologies like this would encourage operators to adopt the best long-term monitoring solution which arguably is continuous on-site monitoring both in terms of cost and emissions reduction, and would allow operators to offset the cost of implementing such solutions by the reduced cost burden of frequent LDAR surveys.

An example of new, commercialized technology that can improve existing LDAR is the gas imaging LiDAR camera that we have developed. It has been shown in blind testing to exceed the methane emissions detection threshold goal of 6 SCFH set by the US ARPA-E MONITOR program. The camera which can detect, quantify, image and localize methane plumes at a component level from a distance of >200m is now being evaluated for deployment by customers for in-situ, continuous, automated emissions monitoring of O&G infrastructure.

A case study will be presented that highlights recent work using the QLM quantum LiDAR gas camera at the National Grid Gas Bacton terminal. The trial took place under the Innovate UK-funded SPLICE project with industrial partners NGG and supported by the National Physical Laboratory.

During the successful trial, a team from the National Physical Laboratory NPL conducted a walkover survey of the area, following a method based upon BS EN 15446 and US EPA Method 21, supplemented with optical gas imaging and Hi-flow sampling. Both QLM and NPL detected, localized, and quantified confirmed emission sources from NGG assets, with QLM able to identify significant emissions from cold vents out of the scope of the conventional methods. Highly temporally-resolved venting operations across the site were also characterized, which took place at heights and over short durations that a walkover survey would not be able to catch and quantify. The trial also identified areas for the development of the next version of the camera, from automation and end-user flexibility points of view, which will lead to a continually improving product.

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