The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 13:17

New study reveals natural gas pipeline leaks all over Washington, D.C.

New study reveals natural gas pipeline leaks all over Washington, D.C. Credits: Robert B. Jackson/Environmental Science and Technology

Scientists from Duke University measuring methane levels, the main component of natural gas, produced by leaks and contributing to global warming, have conducted a new research in Washington, D.C.

According to the research a large number of natural gas leaks were detected in the capital, where scientists using a special instrument (a Picarro G2301 Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer) placed on a car, drove around Washington's streets. "We drove 1,500 road miles in Washington, D.C., and found about 6,000 leaks. That's roughly four leaks every mile," said Robert Jackson, an ecologist and environmental scientist at Duke University. The rate of the leakage as well as the concentration of methane in the air is higher than the findings in a similar research in Boston in 2011, according to Jackson. The city's gas company was informed about the leaks and reported that repairs are made constantly. The research shows that although oil and gas operations are the main human activities contributing to methane release in the U.S., cities seem to be an additional contributing factor. The problem of the greenhouse gas emissions though can be mitigated by both companies and scientists, with efforts such as financial motivation or replacing the old pipes to reduce the leakage, increasing safety and air quality, according to the study.


Read 1839 times Last modified on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 13:27

The News Center is being funded by our Annual Corporate Sponsors " (learn more):