Emission Possible: Unearthing innovative solutions for detecting Methane Emissions
Earlier this year Origin Energy issued Emission Possible; an open call to find new and innovative technologies for detecting and quantifying methane emissions.
The key for any business to lowering emissions is first being able to detect and quantify them. As industries across the globe journey on their path towards emission reduction, the demand for increasingly accurate and sensitive detection tools climbs, and innovators are responding with new technologies, solutions and approaches for emission detection.
As part of their efforts to continuously improve and decarbonise their business the team at Origin Energy were focused on discovering the latest technology available in the methane monitoring space.
Emission Possible was an open innovation challenge sponsored by Origin Energy that ran in March this year and was focused on unearthing innovators with technologies, sensors, services and novel ideas that could help Origin Energy build upon their existing and successful emission reduction practices.
Attracting a great response from a global audience, Emission Possible generated numerous interesting proposals for emission detection and quantification solutions. Read on to take a deep dive into seven submissions and discover more about the unique and innovative technologies and approaches.
TEAM Inc.'s Submission
US-based TEAM Inc. offers an integrated approach to emission detection via a suite of solutions including detecting leaks at parts per million level, Optical Gas Imaging, repairs and direct measurement of methane emissions for leaks from compressor seals and vents.
With a clear aim to have a large, positive impact on the environment, to reduce emissions and related risks seamlessly, TEAM Inc has already successfully reduced or eliminated over 1.1 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions for their client partners.
We asked TEAM inc. to share their thoughts on how innovators can support industry to reach zero emissions. According to TEAM Inc. the key is to “find a way to offer a full solution rather than discrete technologies or services” and setting up a comprehensive risk-based inspection and maintenance program that prevents leaks before they happen.
mAIRsure "Sensor as a Service" Submission
US-based mAIRsure recognise that the biggest challenge to achieving zero emissions by 2025 will be industry stepping up to the plate and taking the necessary steps to ensure that the entire supply chain has minimal emissions. The team at mAIRsure acknowledge that this all starts with measuring emissions, reminding us that “you can't manage what you can't measure.”
mAIRsure provide emission quantification and monitoring of oil and gas infrastructure, from upstream through midstream processing. mAIRsure’s continuously and autonomously collect data with analytics, determining the location and magnitude of emissions, in combination with low sensitivity. mAIRsure’s approach can lead to significant cost reductions (due to the lack of human intervention) and increased efficiency for leak detection and repair, in addition to emission quantification.
The Sniffers Submission
The Sniffers from The Netherlands is a team well established in the industry and active in 35 countries, delivering over 8500 projects. The Sniffers are focused on helping the oil, gas and (petro)chemical industry realise their environmental, integrity, and sustainability ambitions.
In the Emission Possible challenge, The Sniffers proposed to use their team of experts to deliver advisory services and high-quality field surveys in combination with a broad service portfolio that includes environmental programs, innovative solutions, feet on the ground, and much more, to help reduce methane emissions.
The Sniffers' submission was distinguished by their broad approach based on environmental, health and safety objectives, promising best-in-class emission reduction and energy savings by improving the efficiency of operations and pipeline integrity programs.
Kairos Aerospace's Submission
In their proposal Kairos Aerospace pointed out that if companies don't believe they have an emission problem or don't have regulatory pressure to reduce emissions, they may not commit.
Providing aerial, aircraft-mounted, integrated methane gas detecting and imaging systems, Kairos Aerospace believes the best approach to tackling this issue is to partner with oil and gas companies to help them achieve their reduction targets while making it efficient and cost-effective to do so.
Kairos Aerospace supports partners to identify the largest methane leaks by combining patented hardware with proprietary software to produce actionable data about the operations. Combining low-cost and high-quality sensors in combination with high-powered, high-scale computing allows them to cover basin-wide areas while identifying the most significant leaks.
Since its inception in 2013, Kairos Aerospace has managed to help customers reduce over 18 billion cubic feet of methane emissions.
Control Equipment Pty Ltd Submission
The Australian company Control Equipment Pty Ltd has been supplying and servicing gas detection instrumentation since 1977. The team at Control Equipment Pty Ltd strongly believe in developing a unique solution for each client, focusing on the quality of service, support and instrumentation provided. Their proposal details a broad selection of wired and wireless easy-to-use, robust, and configurable gas detectors and monitors capable of detecting both toxic and non-toxic gases and gas leaks for diverse applications.
Aeris Technologies LDS Solutions: Fixed, Mobile, and Handheld
US-Based Aeris Technologies, Inc. utilises a range of leak detection systems solutions including fixed, handheld, and mobile methane/ethane/propane leak detection and quantification solutions. They focus on manufacturing the most sensitive and, as James Scherer, CEO at Aeris Technologies, puts it, the most accurate commercially feasible hydrocarbon gas sensors.
With their varied solutions, we were excited to hear James’ views on reaching zero emissions in 2025. We'll let James do the talking:
"The first challenge is to know what levels we are actually at now, and how we will quantify those changes moving forward such that we can gauge our progress. The problem is akin to losing weight- if you embark on such a plan, you need first to quantify the weight, then gauge your progress and use that knowledge as feedback to find out what works and what doesn't. This is precisely where Aeris fits into the methane problem. With its disruptive sensor technology, it is 10 times smaller, lighter, and lower in power consumption than other ultra-sensitive technologies, and outperforms them in sensitivity across the board at a fraction of the price."
Kayrros Methane Watch
Recognising the various sources of methane emissions, the team at Singaporean based Kayrros Methane Watch advocate a multi-layered approach that combines satellite imagery and mobile ground sensors to provide the most comprehensive and accurate data.
In their view, the biggest challenge to emission reduction is "The lack of reliable data and the importance of the ability to measure and monitor progress to achieve a cost-effective and ambitious mitigation strategy". Highlighting that a trusted data source is important to ensure credibility with regulators, investors and consumers the team at Kayrros remind us that no single technology alone can monitor all methane emissions, reinforcing the importance of a multi-layered approach that combines satellite imagery and mobile ground sensors to provide the most comprehensive and accurate data.
"We are in an era of greater scrutiny where the energy industry must work with regulators and investors, and the line between proprietary and public data becomes blurred."
We hope that you have enjoyed taking a deep dive into a few of the innovative proposals from Emission Possible. If you’d like to read more about this or any of our other challenges head over to our innovation challenge hub.