The deadline for the RFP has expired. This RFP is now closed and no longer accepting submissions.

Funding Opportunity Field Evaluation of Methane Slip in Relation to the Performance of Lean Burn Natural Gas-fueled Engines

Announcement Details

The Collaboratory to Advance Methane Science (CAMS) is seeking responses to a funding opportunity to conduct a year-long monitoring of methane emissions from lean burn natural gas-fueled engine exhaust (methane slip) at oil and gas compression facilities. The project will set out to identify the underlying factors that may cause the variations in emissions from engines under normal operating conditions. Ultimately the intention is to identify operational practices that will result in reduced methane emissions as a near-term solution.

Responding entities should submit full proposals for the project by November 6, 2023. It is anticipated that one award will be made with a funding level of $300,000.

Primary Study Objectives

The primary objective of the funded work will be identifying factors that significantly contribute to the methane slip in order to identify operational practices to reduce emissions. The project can be divided into 3 phases:

Phase 1 – Review to determine relevant operational parameters to monitor and to identify an appropriate technology to measure methane emissions in engine exhaust. This may include but is not limited to:

    • Engine parameters
      • Engine makes/models types that are most relevant to the industry
      • The range of operation conditions (e.g., engine load, speed, fuel, flow rate, etc.)
      • Engine age and maintenance information, etc.
      • Engine service mode (e.g., gathering and boosting, gas lift)
    • Measurement technologies
      • Existing standard testing technologies / methodologies for engine exhaust measurement (e.g., FTIR)
      • Novel technologies that are suitable for engine exhaust testing
        • Requirements
          • High frequency, near-continuous measurement
          • Quantification (concentration and emission rate) of methane slip with precision comparable to standard stack testing methods
          • Minimal utility requirements (power, communications) for remote sites
          • The concurrent use of multiple measurement methods may be considered

Phase 2 – Long-term monitoring of exhaust gas properties and operational conditions under normal operating conditions.

    • Based on the information collected in Phase 1, determine the parameters that should be monitored in a field study
    • Work with CAMS member companies to identify suitable engines in the field to perform the study and ensure all relevant parametric data identified in Phase 1 is collected
      • The intention is to monitor engines under standard operating conditions, but there may be limited opportunities to modify engine operation to identify non-ideal performance conditions
    • Implement and perform the methane measurement study using the methodology identified in Phase 1 for a period of ~1 year
      • Validation of novel monitoring technologies for quantifying methane slip if non-standard methods are used.

Phase 3 – Analysis of collected data and report out

    • QA/QC of collected data and work with operator of engine to collect any additional data that is required
    • Perform analysis to identify and correlate any parametric data or practices that affect methane slip significantly
    • Recommend operational modifications that can result in improved methane emissions performance

Background / Description

Methane present in the exhaust of natural gas fueled engines (methane slip) is a considerable source of methane emissions in onshore oil and gas operations. Methane slip primarily results from unburnt gas during combustion process, including flame quenching at the cylinder wall, misfires, and gas trapped in crevices (Pulkrabek, 2004).1 Field campaigns have shown that methane slip accounts for ~40% of methane emissions at gathering and boosting stations where these engines are used to drive compression (Zimmerle et al, 2020).2 Lean-burn engines are of particular concern as they have been widely adopted due to their lower NOX emissions, which is a regulated air pollutant in the U.S. Lower NOX emissions, however, come at the price of higher methane slip relative to rich-burn engines.

There are currently no commercially available solutions to reducing methane slip from existing engines. Recent funding opportunities from DOE (e.g., ARPA-E Remedy and DOE FOA-2616) have included methane slip from gas engines as one of the areas of interest. However, they have focused on technologies for either in-engine solutions (e.g., piston ring replacement, pre-mixing chambers, etc.) or after-treatment at the exhaust (e.g., catalytic or thermal reactions). These technologies have the potential to mitigate a significant percentage of methane slip from a given engine but are several years away from commercial readiness. There has been less focus on operational optimization and long-term monitoring to find near-term solutions that may at least partially reduce methane slip.

Methane emissions from engines in the field may vary from the published emission factors under certain engine operating conditions (Johnson et al., 2015; Vaughn et al , 2021).3,4 These conditions may include air-to-fuel ratio, fuel composition, engine age, load, maintenance practices and other factors. However, the relative contribution of these factors on the methane slip is not known. This leads to the question of whether we can reduce methane slip through operation optimization and quickly identify the factors resulting in the emission variations. To answer this, a long-term monitoring data of methane slip from field gas engines is needed. To the best of our knowledge, the only existing data of engine exhaust properties (beyond manufacturer specifications and models) are from limited field campaigns and stack test data acquired by operators for regulatory purposes. These data are snapshots in time and infrequent, typically once per year or less. There are no previous investigations on the long-term performance evaluation of gas engines in the field.


  • Raw monitoring data and analysis results for the operator of each engine in the study.
  • A report that summarizes findings of the field study and provides recommendations and next steps for operation optimization (e.g., new methane skid evaluation, engine toning with broader context).
  • A peer-reviewed manuscript describing the study design, data analysis, anonymized results and major findings.

Eligibility Criteria

The solicitation is open to public and private entities. The study objectives can be accomplished with an assembled team that can include academics, national laboratories, environmental organizations, oilfield service providers, technology vendors, and other relevant organizations. A multi-disciplinary research team comprising two or more entities is strongly preferred. The ideal team will combine skills, experience and demonstrated expertise in:

  • Measurement of methane at oil and gas sites, particularly gas compression facilities
  • Heavy-duty natural gas fueled reciprocating engine operation and performance
  • Statistical analysis

RFP Release Date: 08/31/2023
Deadline to submit proposals: 11/06/2023
Anticipated Award Date: 12/15/2023
Anticipated Project Start Date: 01/30/2024
Anticipated Period of Performance: 12 months

Submit proposals to:

Available Funding: $300,000, no matching funds are required


Questions on the funding opportunity should be directed to:

Hon Xing Wong, CAMS Program Administrator,

Proposal Package Requirements

Proposal should not exceed 20 pages in length and must include the following:

  • Point of Contact (name, title, business address, phone, email)
  • Executive Summary (project description, team members)
  • Scope of Work (goals, objectives, technical approach and methods to be used, task level descriptions, deliverables and milestones)
  • Budget (breakdown by task, labor, M&S, subcontractors, consultants). Contract will be time and materials based, labor rates should be included in proposal
  • Schedule
  • Team Qualifications (include relevant work and publications, similar projects, resource experience, resources and capabilities)
  • One page public project summary (will be used if awarded)

Evaluation, Award and Contracting Process

The project will be awarded, contracted and managed by the CAMS program administrator, GTI Energy. The project will engage with a technical committee and steering committee which will include members of the industry sponsors, the PI’s study team and the Project Manager.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Scientific and Technical Merit (30%)

  • Applicant’s approach to achieving the goals and objectives of the RFP.
  • Overall clarity and completeness of the proposal, including the appropriateness, clarity, rationale and completeness of the technical approach and work scope.
  • Understanding of technical/scientific problem, challenges, limitations of the current state of knowledge or technology relative to addressing the problem based on RFP response.
  • The degree to which the proposed work is based on sound scientific and engineering principles.

Technical Approach and Understanding (30%)

  • Thoroughness of the description of the proposed development approach and degree to which the proposed approach or methodology meets the stated objectives of the RFP.
  • The degree to which the Applicant provides detail that clearly outlines the technical benefits, technical challenges, and feasibility of the proposed approach.
  • The reasonableness of the project schedule to integrate all tasks/subtasks and achieve key project objectives as reflected by well-defined, quantifiable, and verifiable critical path milestones and key project decision points.
  • Adequacy and completeness of the work scope and task level descriptions, including identification of project risks and strategies for mitigation of those risks.

Qualifications, Experience and Capabilities (20%)

  • Demonstrated experience of the applicant and partnering organizations in the technology areas addressed in the application and in managing projects of similar size, scope, and complexity.
  • Clarity of design and likely effectiveness of the project team, including subcontractors or partners, for successful completion of the proposed research.
  • Capability and availability of proposed personnel, facilities, and equipment for the performance of defined project tasks and sub-tasks.
  • Demonstrated experience in program management appropriate for the project.

Budget and Cost Effectiveness (20%)

  • Reasonableness of proposed budget relative to the project goals, objectives, and tasks.
  • Detailed breakdown of budget by labor, materials, equipment and travel.

1 Pulkrabek, W.W., 2004. Engineering fundamentals of the internal combustion engine. 2nd ed., Prentice-Hall, Engle-wood Cliffs, NJ.

2 Zimmerle, D., Vaughn, T., Luck, B., Lauderdale, T., Keen, K., Harrison, M., Marchese, A., Williams, L. and Allen, D., 2020. Methane emissions from gathering compressor stations in the us. Environmental Science & Technology, 54(12), pp.7552-7561.

3 Johnson, D.R., Covington, A.N. and Clark, N.N., 2015. Methane emissions from leak and loss audits of natural gas compressor stations and storage facilities. Environmental science & technology, 49(13), pp.8132-8138.

4 Vaughn, T.L., Luck, B., Williams, L., Marchese, A.J. and Zimmerle, D., 2021. Methane exhaust measurements at gathering compressor stations in the United States. Environmental Science & Technology, 55(2), pp.1190-1196.