Methane Emissions Technology Evaluation Center (METEC)

METEC Research Group

The METEC research program centers around a staff of research scientists, management and students who are focused on emissions from oil & gas (O&G) infrastructure.   We are homed in two unique facilities at Colorado State University – the Methane Emissions Technology Evaluation Center located on CSU’s foothills campus and the Powerhouse Energy Campus in downtown Fort Collins.

Interested in graduate school at METEC?

The research group engages in three major categories of research work:

1. Testing and experimental investigations

Testing Leak Detection: Over 40 leak detection and quantification (LDAQ) technologies or solutions have tested at METEC, ranging from basic technology testing to full single-blind protocol tests.  Anyone can test at METEC; see the “Engaging with METEC” page for instructions, and Leak Detection and Quantification Solutions page for a list of LDAQ solutions. Customers can engage the test facility for confidential ad-hoc testing or join a range of public programs.  Check research project pages for ongoing testing windows.

Safety Research: Emissions are not the only focus. METEC also hosts a range of gas safety research.  Current projects focus on detecting and understanding underground pipeline leaks.  Major projects (RPLUME and UPSIDE) are constructing new research test beds at METEC, while smaller projects are focused on sensing solutions (InSense and NYSEARCH).

Basic Research: A portion of the METEC IAB funding is used for small, basic, research projects of common interest to IAB members.  Previous project includes a fence line monitor experiment and the current METEC effort is focused on METEC IAB program.

2. Conducting field measurement campaigns

The METEC team, and associated faculty in other parts of the university, have been involved in multiple large-scale field campaigns covering most sectors of the natural gas supply chain, and coordinated campaigns that measure regions using multiple scales of measurement.  Current projects are listed in the Research Projects page.

From our experience with field research, we have learned the value of rigorously testing commonly methods and instruments used during field campaigns.  Highlights:

  • Optical gas imaging (OGI) – see the recently released controlled study of OGI efficacy at METEC.
  • OGI training – We’ve rolled the results from this study into an ‘OGI Practical’ class to train OGI surveyors.  Additional practical classes may follow.
  • High volume sampler – We’re developing an open-source architecture for the high-volume sampler measurement method, the most commonly used method for measuring component emissions.

3. Developing emissions simulation software

The simulation of emissions is a critical to understanding the performance of LDAQ solutions.  We call this the Pathway to Equivalence a set of tools and methods to compare leak detection solutions with widely varying deployment modalities and performance, on a wide range of facility types.

The METEC group is working on the simulation of emission, in conjunction with the University of Texas at Austin, developing MEET – the Methane Emissions Estimation Tool and with Harrisburg University, developing FEAST – the Fugitive Emissions Abatement Simulation Tool.

Interested in METEC?

METEC membership is open to any company or organization with an interest in air emissions from energy systems.

Many METEC group projects work with industry, regulators, community organizations, or other universities.  Current hot topics:

  • LDAQ field testing for the ADED project
  • Join the combined advisory board for pipeline projects – UPSIDE (flowlines and gathering lines) and RPLUME (distribution systems)
  • Join the technical advisory panel for the high-volume sampler project
  • Help develop test protocols for ADED
  • Test your solution at METEC
  • Improve your OGI skills at a METEC OGI class

METEC Facility

The METEC facility is a unique test and research facility for emissions detection and quantification, methods development, and training.

METEC is located in northwest Fort Collins, on CSU’s foothills campus, conveniently located to hotels, restaurants and other services.  And … it has a gorgeous view of the mountains!  METEC is fee based and supports research and testing by any interested party. 

METEC CSU is a project in collaboration with ARPA-E and their methane initiatives. The goal of the facility is to provide a location that models natural gas facilities, so that researchers can test low-cost methane sensing technologies and evaluate their performance.

This information has been borrowed from the ARPA-E MONITOR website. Additional technical information is available here.