Issue Date: December 7, 2015
Methane Camera Spots Gassy Emissions
Methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases, but it’s frustratingly hard for researchers to track. As a result, scientists have struggled to procure reliable methane emission maps required for climate models. A team led by David Bastviken and Magnus Gålfalk at Linköping University has now developed a camera that can detect ground-level methane concentrations with high spatial resolution (Nat. Clim. Change 2015, DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2877). The hyperspectral imaging technology acquires an infrared spectrum of the gas for each camera pixel, from which the concentration of methane can then be measured to less than 1-m2 resolution. In proof-of-principle tests, the team measured methane emanating from a lake, emerging from a factory smokestack, and exiting a barn containing 18 flatulent cows. The new camera provides methane measurements that are 40 to 100 times as sensitive as existing airplane- and satellite-based techniques. Bastviken says he hopes that the camera will complement the airborne methods.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
- Copyright © American Chemical Society