26 April 2022

Measure underground gas leaks with Kiwa's Suction method

Every gas leak is one too many. Even though not every gas leak poses a direct safety risk, methane is a greenhouse gas and therefore contributes to global warming. Therefore, it is important to detect and reduce gas leaks as effectively as possible. To this end, Kiwa developed the Suction method on behalf of the European Gas Research Group (GERG), of which Kiwa has been a part for many years. To clarify how this new, accurate measuring method works, Kiwa made an explanation video.

At the end of last year, the European Commission published a bill on quantifying and reducing methane emissions in the energy sector. If this bill will be approved, from now on European gas network operators will be required to map out where and exactly how much methane is leaking. This concerns the entire chain from gas station to gas meter.

Accurate results

To determine how much gas is leaking from an underground pipe, knowledge is acquired. First, you need to know how many leaks occur on average per kilometer of pipeline. A differentiation according to material type and pressure is possible here. Moreover, you need to know how much gas leaks out from an underground leak on average. Kiwa can measure the leakage rate of an underground gas leak using the Suction method, as explained in the animation below. The Suction method delivers extremely accurate results, but requires the right technique and patience.

Quantifying and reducing methane emissions

In the case of an underground gas leak, the gas first saturates the sand grains in the soil and only then evaporates to the ground level. With the Suction method, all the elevated gas is first sucked out of the bottom. This creates a new equilibrium in which all the gas that is collected can be directly traced back to the leak. Using the Suction method, Kiwa Technology can provide support and advice in quantifying and reducing methane emissions.

Kiwa and GERG

The European Gas Research Group (GERG) consists of over thirty companies and (research) institutions from the gas industry from Europe and beyond. GERG focuses on the research and development of innovations with a strategic focus on future low-carbon gas networks and end-use. GERG supports its partners with specialist knowledge and information exchange. Kiwa has been participating in the GERG for years, nowadays mainly for the purpose of translating international knowledge into the Dutch gas network management situation.