Presto Receives NETL Grant to Study Marcellus Shale Emissions-Mechanical Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Friday, November 1, 2013

Presto Receives NETL Grant to Study Marcellus Shale Emissions

Assistant Research Professor Albert Presto is the principal investigator a million-dollar grant from the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL) to study emissions of methane, ozone-forming VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and air toxics from activities associated with Marcellus Shale Gas exploration and extraction.  Department Head Allen Robinson is a co-investigator on the grant.

The 3 year grant will use the mobile laboratory to measure how methane and other emissions move downwind by releasing a "tracer" gas at the sites to be studied.  Because the rate of tracer release is controlled, the researchers will be able to calculate the emission rate of the other gasses at the site.  By studying these rates at active wells, drilling sites, and storage tanks in multiple locations, the research will help develop a more accurate picture of the effects of drilling.

Presto and his team will also compare the methane emissions from Marcellus Shale activities to existing sources of emissions, like abandoned conventional gas wells, landfills, and farms.