Machine Learning Could Enhance Methane Leak Detection Technology

Machine learning offers an opportunity to enhance methane leak detection technology. A new methane leak detection system being developed for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory will utilize machine learning to enable the detection of small leaks. San Antonio-based Southwest Research Institute’s (SwRI) effort has two goals: to develop an autonomous, real-time system to detect methane leaks that can’t currently be detected with existing technology, and to develop this technology for use across the entire natural gas supply chain, from production to distribution. The project, which will take place over the next 18 months, is being funded by a $798,000 DOE award. Methane is the main molecule in natural gas and the most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States, according to SwRI. While methane…

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