Preventing or Abating Anthropogenic Methane Emissions Workshop


ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Jack Lewnard held a webinar on reducing methane emissions on November 10, 2020. Presentation slides from the webinar are available here. A video recording of the presentation can be seen below:

ARPA-E hosted a virtual workshop on October 20th 2020 to explore new routes to prevent and/or abate anthropogenic methane emissions. The goal of the workshop was to reverse the rate of accumulation of methane in the atmosphere, resulting in a decrease in atmospheric methane concentration. Registration was required to be able to participate in the workshop, and space was limited to 125 participants.

The scope of the workshop was broad. Participants discussed a wide range of anthropogenic sources and potential technical approaches requiring advances in biology, materials, catalysts, and physics. Participants discussed how the technical approaches can be formed into system-level products or services, which incorporate integrated methane prevention/abatement processes and monitoring/control system. Given the diversity of methane sources we anticipate that multiple approaches will be required. ARPA-E is soliciting participants with novel concepts that could:

  1. A) Prevent methane emissions from anthropogenic activities. Examples include addressing improperly abandoned coal mines and oil and gas wells; plugged oil and gas wells that leak; uncontrolled landfill gas; and agricultural-related emissions from farming and ruminants. ARPA-E seeking novel approaches beyond industry’s current work to address equipment malfunctions, reduce methane vented from valves and seals, and reduce methane releases during drilling.
  2. B) Abate methane emissions at the source (stack, vents, leaks, etc.). Methane slip from gas-fired engines and in flares are of interest.
  3. C) Remove methane from the air. Examples include approaches which enhance natural sinks for methane, including oxidation reactions in the troposphere and mineralization (i.e. biological oxidation of methane to CO2) in soils. 

The primary goal is elimination of methane - ie converting methane to CO2 or biomass is sufficient.  It is not required to convert the methane to a high-value products. Processes intended to obviate flaring by creating high-value products will not be discussed.

Given the focus on system-level products or services, we are also seeking experts in methane emission quantification and organizations, interested in commercializing methane reduction technologies.

The initial agenda includes brief overviews of sources and potential technical approaches, and includes two break-out sessions.

9:50 AM Attendees Begin to Join the Meeting  
10:00 AM Logistics/Housekeeping Nancy Hicks
Meetings Team, Booz Allen Hamilton
10:02 AM Welcome Dr. Jennifer Gerbi
Deputy Director for Technology, ARPA-E
10:15 AM Introductory Remarks/Agenda Dr. Jack Lewnard
Program Director, ARPA-E
Session 1 – Emission sources, state of the art, and technology gaps
10:30 AM Enteric Fermentation Dr. Tim Kurt
Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research
10:45 AM Gas-fired Engine Emissions Dr. Bryan Willson
Colorado State University
11:00 AM Oil/gas Wells and Coal Mines Dr. Mary Kang
McGill University
11:15 AM Flares Dr. Eric Kort
University of Michigan
11:30 AM Landfills Dr. Dave Babson
11:45 AM - 12:00 PM Break
Breakout Session 1 - Technology options for emission sources
12:00 PM Group 1 – Enteric fermentation  
  Group 2 – Gas-fired engine emissions  
  Group 3 - Oil/gas wells and coal mines I  
  Group 4 – Oil/gas wells and coal mines II  
  Group 5 – Flares  
  Group 6 – Landfills  
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM Lunch Break
Session 2 – New system approaches: Technologies, gaps, and potential applications
Biological Pathways
1:30 PM Methanotrophs/Biofilters Dr. Mary Lidstrom
University of Washington
1:45 PM Methanotrophs/Biofilters Dr. Lori Giver
Session 3 – New system approaches: Technologies, gaps, and potential applications
Chemical Pathways
2:00 PM Combustion Chemistry Dr. Eric Petersen
Texas A&M University
2:15 PM PGM and non-noble catalysis Dr. Fabio Ribeiro
Purdue University
2:30 PM Photo-catalysis Dr. Suman Khatiwada
2:45 PM Electro/electrochemical catalysis Dr. Adam Hock
Illinois Inst of Tech
3:00 PM Plasma Catalysis Dr. Maria Carreon Garciduenas
South Dakota School of Mines
Session 4 – New system approaches: Technologies, gaps, and potential applications
Mechanical/Materials Pathways
3:15 PM Sealing wells and mines Dr. Eric van Oort
University of Texas at Austin
3:30 PM Reimagining flares Dr. Audrey Mascarenhas
Questor Tech
3:45 PM - 3:55 PM Break
Breakout Session 2: New system approaches and targeted sources
3:55 PM Group 1 – Biology  
  Group 2 – Chemistry and Catalysis I  
  Group 3 – Chemistry and Catalysis II  
  Group 4 – Mechanical and Materials I  
  Group 5 – Mechanical and Materials II  
4:55 PM Wrap-up & Concluding Remarks Dr. Jack Lewnard
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Networking/Happy Hour – 4 minute fast pitches for partners

Additional Information

     -- Link to Request for Information Additional information:

     -- Link to Blog –

     -- Teaming Partner List – - soon

ARPA-E workshops are open to the public, but capacity is limited and invitations are required. To request an invitation for yourself or a colleague, please send an email with your name, affiliation, phone number, and academic CV to


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