Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

New system to check for dangerous natural gas leaks

A team from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Aeris Technology and Rice University has developed the Autonomous, Low- cost, Fast Leak Detection System (ALFaLDS) to detect, locate and quantify leaks quickly, safely and inexpensively.
March 24, 2019
Manvendra Dubey

Manvendra Dubey

New system to check for dangerous natural gas leaks

by Manvendra Dubey

The fuel heating your house or cooking your food right now is most likely natural gas. If so, it probably traveled through hundreds or even thousands of miles of pipeline to get there from the well pads where it originated.

Just like any pipe, the pressurized networks that convey natural gas can leak. But what if those “fugitive” leaks are in the middle of nowhere? How can we quickly and affordably get to and identify the location of a gas leak – fast enough to prevent explosions, avoid financial loss and protect our environment?

The answer may be a novel, smart gas-leak detection system that runs year-round – without human operators – to locate small leaks. It is even compact enough to fit on a drone.

This story first appeared in Albuquerque Journal.