Natural gas is an important source of power in the United States. An estimated 300,000 miles of pipeline transport natural gas across the country, while thousands of gathering, processing, and storage facilities prepare and store the gas for end users.

At each point in the process of production, methane can be released into the atmosphere as a result of leakage. On a twenty-year time horizon, methane is 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

The Energy Institute at Colorado State University partners with universities, research institutions, and the natural gas industry to discover new and effective methods for finding and reducing methane leaks at every stage of natural gas production.

Methane Emissions Studies

The CSU Energy Institute is leading two national studies to measure the amount of methane loss that occurs across the nation’s natural gas supply chain. Together, the studies mark methane leakage from the time that the gas is extracted until it reaches end users. CSU researchers are quantifying emissions from gathering and processing plants and transmission and storage facilities. The project is sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and several natural gas companies.

The Basin Methane Reconciliation Study seeks to reconcile measurement methods that are used when quantifying methane leaks from natural gas basin areas.

The Energy Institute is also constructing a test site known as the Methane Emissions Test and Evaluation Center, or METEC, which will allow researchers to test methane-sensing technologies in a controlled environment.

Methane Loss in Gathering and Processing

Study Overview

Sponsors, Study Team, and Committees

Research Results


Methane Loss in Transmission and Storage

Study Overview

Sponsors, Study Team, and Committees

Research Results


Basin Methane Reconciliation Study

Study Overview


METEC at Colorado State University

Program Overview

Methane Experts

Clay Bell
Research Scientist I

Anthony Marchese
Anthony J. Marchese
Director of the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory
Mechanical Engineering Professor

Tim Vaughn
Research Engineer

Azer Yalin
Mechanical Engineering Professor 

Dan Zimmerle
Senior Research Associate and Director of METEC