13. CLIMATE ACTION

NETL’s Sensors Monitor Natural Gas Pipeline Corrosion to Mitigate Methane Emissions, Ensure Safety

NETL’s Sensors Monitor Natural Gas Pipeline Corrosion to Mitigate Methane Emissions, Ensure Safety
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

NETL’s Sensors Monitor Natural Gas Pipeline Corrosion to Mitigate …  National Energy Technology Laboratory

NETL’s Sensors Monitor Natural Gas Pipeline Corrosion to Mitigate Methane Emissions, Ensure Safety

Advanced Sensors Developed by NETL to Detect and Predict Corrosion in Natural Gas Pipelines

Advanced sensors developed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have the potential to prevent ruptures and leaks in natural gas pipelines, which release methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. These sensors align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and contribute to efforts in mitigating climate change.

The Importance of Natural Gas Pipelines

The United States has an extensive natural gas pipeline network, consisting of approximately 300,000 miles of major interstate and intrastate pipelines, as well as over 2 million miles of distribution lines. In 2021, this network delivered about 27.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to around 77.7 million consumers, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Methane as a Greenhouse Gas

Methane is the primary component of natural gas and is the second most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide (CO2). Although methane has a shorter lifetime in the atmosphere compared to CO2, it is more than 25 times as potent at trapping heat. Therefore, preventing leaks and ruptures in the natural gas pipeline network is crucial for addressing climate change and ensuring safety.

NETL’s Research and Development

Ruishu Wright, a research scientist and technical portfolio lead for the NETL Natural Gas Infrastructure Field Work Proposal, emphasizes the importance of preventing leaks and ruptures for climate change mitigation and safety. Wright, along with Jagannath Devkota, Ping Lu, and Paul Ohodnicki, has developed a patented technology called “Distributed Fiber-Optic Sensor Network for Sensing the Corrosion Onset and Quantification” (US 11,726,047 B2, August 15, 2023).

This technology detects corrosion in natural gas pipelines through early detection using optical fiber-based or passive wireless sensing technology. The sensor network can monitor internal corrosion by obtaining precise localized measurements of condensed water properties.

The Cost of Ruptures and Leaks

According to the research team, ruptures and leaks from natural gas pipelines cost between $6 billion and $10 billion each year in the United States. Monitoring corrosion inside gas pipelines is essential to implement corrosion mitigation and control measures before any failure occurs.

Ongoing Research and Development

In addition to their previous invention, Wright, Ohodnicki, Devkota, Nathan Diemler, and Nageswara Lalam have filed a non-provisional patent titled “Distributed Multi-Parameter Sensors for Simultaneous Monitoring of Corrosion and Humidity: Optical Fiber Sensors and Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors” (U.S. Patent Application No. 18/302,209, April 18, 2023).

NETL’s pipeline sensor team has conducted successful field tests of fiber optic sensor and surface acoustic wave sensor technologies for natural gas pipeline monitoring. These technologies enhance the safety and security of natural gas pipeline delivery while mitigating methane emissions.

Advantages of Fiber Optic Sensors

The distributed fiber optic interrogation technology enables continuous, real-time measurements along the entire length of a fiber optic cable. These sensors offer advantages such as small size, lightweight, high-temperature and pressure endurance, and immunity to electromagnetic interference.

Benefits of the Technology

By utilizing these advanced sensors, operators can identify potential pipeline safety threats and respond promptly. This technology aligns with the SDGs and contributes to creating a sustainable and prosperous energy future.

About NETL

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is a Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory that focuses on driving innovation and delivering technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. NETL’s world-class talent and research facilities ensure affordable, abundant, and reliable energy that drives economic growth and national security. Additionally, NETL develops technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Identified in the Article

  1. SDG 13: Climate Action

    • Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning
    • Target 13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning
    • Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have integrated mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning into primary, secondary, and tertiary curricula
    • Indicator 13.3.1: Number of countries that have communicated the strengthening of institutional, systemic, and individual capacity-building to implement adaptation, mitigation, and technology transfer
  2. SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

    • Target 9.4: Upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes
    • Indicator 9.4.1: CO2 emission per unit of value added
  3. SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

    • Target 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
    • Indicator 7.2.1: Renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption

Explanation and Analysis

The article addresses several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their corresponding targets and indicators. The issues highlighted in the article are related to climate change, infrastructure, and clean energy. Here is a detailed analysis of the SDGs, targets, and indicators identified:

SDG 13: Climate Action

The article emphasizes the importance of preventing leaks and ruptures in natural gas pipelines to mitigate climate change. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is released into the atmosphere through these leaks. The following targets and indicators are relevant:

  • Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning – The development of advanced sensors to detect and predict corrosion in natural gas pipelines aligns with this target as it contributes to the prevention of leaks and the reduction of methane emissions.
  • Target 13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning – The research and development of sensor technologies for pipeline monitoring contribute to raising awareness about the importance of preventing leaks and addressing climate change impacts.
  • Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have integrated mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning into primary, secondary, and tertiary curricula – While not explicitly mentioned in the article, the development and implementation of sensor technologies can contribute to integrating climate change measures into educational curricula.
  • Indicator 13.3.1: Number of countries that have communicated the strengthening of institutional, systemic, and individual capacity-building to implement adaptation, mitigation, and technology transfer – The research team’s efforts to develop patented technologies for pipeline monitoring demonstrate the strengthening of institutional capacity to implement mitigation measures.

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

The article highlights the development of innovative sensor technologies for natural gas pipeline monitoring. This aligns with SDG 9, which focuses on sustainable industry, innovation, and infrastructure. The following target and indicator are relevant:

  • Target 9.4: Upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes – The development of sensor technologies for pipeline monitoring contributes to upgrading infrastructure and adopting environmentally sound technologies.
  • Indicator 9.4.1: CO2 emission per unit of value added – While not explicitly mentioned in the article, the use of advanced sensor technologies can help reduce CO2 emissions by preventing leaks and improving the efficiency of natural gas transportation.

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

The article mentions the importance of ensuring safer and more secure natural gas pipeline delivery and mitigating methane emissions. This aligns with SDG 7, which focuses on affordable and clean energy. The following target and indicator are relevant:

  • Target 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix – While not directly related to renewable energy, the development of sensor technologies for natural gas pipeline monitoring contributes to ensuring the safe and efficient delivery of natural gas, which is considered a cleaner fossil fuel compared to coal or oil.
  • Indicator 7.2.1: Renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption – While not explicitly mentioned in the article, the prevention of leaks and the reduction of methane emissions contribute to reducing the environmental impact of natural gas consumption.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

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Source: netl.doe.gov

 

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SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 13: Climate Action Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have integrated mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning into primary, secondary, and tertiary curricula
SDG 13: Climate Action Target 13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning Indicator 13.3.1: Number of countries that have communicated the strengthening of institutional, systemic, and individual capacity-building to implement adaptation, mitigation, and technology transfer
Target 13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning Indicator 13.3.1: Number of countries that have communicated the strengthening of institutional, systemic, and individual capacity-building to implement adaptation, mitigation, and technology transfer
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure