An Inexpensive Hand-Held Monitor for Measuring Fugitive Methane Emissions

EPA Contract Number: EPD17035
Title: An Inexpensive Hand-Held Monitor for Measuring Fugitive Methane Emissions
Investigators: Kimble, Michael C.
Small Business: Reactive Innovations, LLC
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018
Project Amount: $100,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2017) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Air and Climate


Methane is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted after carbon dioxide, however, on a pound-to-pound comparison methane has a 25 times greater impact on climate change than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. Accordingly, the 2014 Climate Action Plan signed by President Obama has directed agencies including the USDA, DOE, and EPA to reduce methane emissions. A significant effort in the Climate Action Plan is to develop improved measurement methods that focus on the specific source or activity causing the emissions, not inferred from atmospheric methane concentrations. This is important to characterize emission sources with precision which is critical for designing mitigation strategies.

Toward this need, Reactive Innovations will be developing a hand-held methane sensor that can be used to measure fugitive methane emissions in support of the Climate Action Plan. Specifications for the sensor have been defined by cooperating government agencies that include a methane detection concentration in air of 2-250 ppm plus or minus 2 ppm, real time concentration determination, calibration capabilities, a continuous readout, electronic transmission of stored data, and a cost less than $50. This Phase I SBIR program will develop a new sensing methodology that is specific to detecting methane without interference effects.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report