Spotlight - Rolling lab tracks methane to its source

Equipped with a gray box, a map and an SUV, Thomas Lauvaux and a team from Penn State's Department of Meteorology has been at it for hours How much comes from natural gas drilling?

By Anne Danahy  December 19, 2014

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McHenry Township, Lycoming County. Equipped with a gray box, a map and an SUV, Thomas Lauvaux and a team from Penn State's Department of Meteorology has been at it for hours, taking measurements and racking up the miles.

 

McHenry Township, Lycoming County. Equipped with a gray box, a map and an SUV, Thomas Lauvaux and a team from Penn State's Department of Meteorology has been at it for hours, taking measurements and racking up the miles.

It's one in a series of road trips across northcentral and northeastern Pennsylvania, and neighboring southern New York, aimed at figuring out how much methane is in the air and how much of it is coming from the booming natural gas industry.

"Isotopes of methane will tell us how much comes from natural gas and how much comes from other methane sources, such as cows, landfills, wetlands and natural seeps," Lauvaux explains.

The mobile measurements are one of the first steps in a three-year $1.8 million study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, a project mentioned in the March 2014 White House Climate Action Plan Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.

FULL STORY: Rolling lab

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