Fugitive Methane Emissions from hard-to tackle sites and sources


Innovation - Develops and brings to market climate-relevant knowledge, products and services


Pan-European, coordinated from the UK

November 2013

NPL Centre for Carbon Measurement


Scott Phillips, NPL Centre for Carbon Measurement,


Decision Metrics & Finance

• NPL Centre for Carbon Measurement
• Veolia
• ARIA Technologies
• Cuadrilla Resources
• National Grid

Facilitating low cost emissions reductions  for industries by developing commercial Methane Measurement Services

Methane emissions represent a disproportionate contribution towards the greenhouse effect, and thus are an important target for emissions reductions. Helping industries to accurately detect and quantify any fugitive emissions will highlight cost-effective opportunities for climate change mitigation.

Whilst the quantities of methane in the atmosphere are relatively small, its comparative impact on global warming is very high, around 86 times that of CO₂ over the first 20 years. Consequently methane has been identified by governments and NGOs as a target for emissions reductions, and it is subject to increasing regulation. These emissions represent a major concern, but are also a low hanging fruit in terms of potential reductions. Captured methane can be resold and consequently 35 percent of methane abatement options have a net profit; the remainder of mitigation options are relatively low cost at about 20 Euros per tonne of CO₂ equivalent. Consequently many industries are looking to explore options for addressing methane loss. Better detection and quantification of fugitive methane emissions will help to identify these opportunities for simultaneous climate change mitigation and economic advantage amongst industrial actors.

The FuME project seeks to improve the detection and quantification of fugitive emissions by developing a comprehensive ‘Methane Measurement Service’. FuME will develop three products, which will make use of a range of sensors, measuring equipment and models. Firstly, the ‘Methane Impact Assessment and Sensor Placement Tool’ will allow engineers to forecast the quantity and distribution of emissions at their site. This will inform them where to place sensors and how to minimize their emissions profile. Secondly, a ‘Methane Measurement Service’ will provide a calibrated sensor network for the continuous and accurate monitoring of fugitive methane emissions;  this can be used by the industrial facility to plan its own unique methane reduction strategy. A third product ‘Methane Boundary Fence Leak Detection Instrument’, the technology which will be developed during the project, will use a tunable diode laser system to increase the accuracy of detection levels. FuME will provide demonstrations of the service within three sectors: waste water treatment plants, gas transmission grids and shale gas extraction.