Scientists from the USA have improved the existing system for determining the level of methane. Now they can capture up to 90% of the harmful emissions of this substance.
The researchers applied the already well-known bottom-up method, but used the latest component-level data to more accurately quantify the amount of methane. Data in the model was collected by direct sampling in various components of the oil and gas industry where methane leaks are most likely – connectors, wellhead valves and hatches, storage tanks.
“We take a very similar approach, but with different baseline data. We had to develop and dig into them before we could understand and try to develop them, ”the researchers noted. The results of the new model also showed that most of the current measurements are underestimated.
According to scientists, one of the main sources of emissions that existing methods cannot capture are tanks for storing liquids. However, some of the emissions are deliberate – for example, flashes when dissolved methane under pressure escapes when the pressure decreases. The new method will allow you to capture them as well.
According to the researchers, this will affect awareness and the adoption of important environmental decisions that will help to correct regulation in this area. Their goal, the scientists said, is not to replace existing models, but to provide a useful baseline tool from which these models can be modified to make future measurements more accurate.