Market Opportunities in the Gas Supply Chain for Nanotech-Enhanced Sensors

K. Leodinh, D. Yablon, K. Crippen
Gas Technology Institute,
United States

Keywords: gas industry, nanotechnology, metal organic framework sensors, distributed leak sensors, reservoir sensing, gas quality sensors, pipeline sensors


Applications of nanotechnology-enhanced sensors in the gas industry focus primarily on the upstream - exploration and production - but seldom address challenges for the rest of the gas supply chain such as monitoring well integrity, distributed leak sensing, gas quality sensing, remote pipeline inspection, pipe locating, and optimizing the efficiency of end use equipment. All these critical gas industry problems seek the benefits afforded by nanotechnology like miniaturization, accessing tight spaces, lowering power consumption of sensors, and enabling sensing in harsh conditions. Microelectronic sensors are being fabricated with components on the nano-/micro-scale for reservoir sensing. Carbon nanotubes are enabling affordable, printable air sensors. New sensors based on microelectro mechanical systems (MEMS) and metal organic framework (MOF) are selectively sensing gases in difficult matrices at low costs. MOF-based crystals are even deployed as dispersible acoustic contrast agents for chemical sensing underground. This presentation promotes the less publicized needs of the broader gas industry, highlights promising solutions employing nanotechnology, and recommends specific nanotechnology applications for strategic research.