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Research Highlight | Transportation and Power Systems

Argonne researchers work to develop a device to reduce methane emissions

Developing technology to mitigate emissions from engines and advance the development of cleaner fuels.

As part of $47 million in projects announced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory aims to develop a device that will abate methane from gas engines.

Researchers have identified methane slip — the escape of unused methane from an engine’s combustion chamber in the exhaust of gas engines used for natural gas pumping application — as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers from Argonne, lead by mechanical engineer Sreenath Gupta, Nexceris, and the University of Central Florida are working to develop a novel on-board reformation device by leveraging the latest catalyst technologies.

The proposed device will harness engine exhaust heat and partially reform the incoming natural gas fuel stream to increase the hydrogen concentration in the fuel. This can then potentially decrease methane emissions by at least 50% while also improving the engine’s efficiency.