Plasma-assisted In-situ Reforming of Flare Gases to Achieve Near-Zero Methane Emissions

Default ARPA-E Project Image

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Project Term:
05/24/2022 - 05/23/2025

Technology Description:

The University of Minnesota will develop a non-thermal, low-temperature, plasma-assisted system for (1) in-situ flare gas reforming, (2) ignition, and (3) flame stabilization for small, unmanned pipe flares. Flares safely dispose of waste gases by burning them under controlled conditions. The new system will substantially enhance fuel reactivity by producing intermediate species such as ethylene, acetylene, and hydrogen. These hydrocarbons are highly reactive compared with methane and dramatically increase flare efficiency. This plasma system is ideal for infrequently maintained pipe flares operating in remote sites due to its low cost, easy implementation, minimal maintenance, and low operating energy resulting from the plasma running on a solar-powered battery. The plasma system can also be used as a source of on-demand ignition in flares, eliminating the need for a continuously burning pilot that creates additional emissions. The proposed technology would improve flare destruction and removal efficiency to ≥ 99.5% and could eliminate 3.8–15.1 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent methane emissions per year from flare operation, representing a 28–72% reduction of existing emissions.

Potential Impact:

REMEDY addresses methane emissions from domestic oil, gas, and coal value chains, accounting for 78% of U.S. primary energy.


REMEDY systems will reduce the environmental footprint from the production and use of domestic resources.


A key REMEDY process performance metric is to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions > 87% on a life cycle basis. This metric ensures proposed solutions provide a holistic environmental benefit. If successful, REMEDY processes have the potential to reduce U.S. methane emissions by at least 60 million tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) per year.


REMEDY goals call for 99.5% methane reduction while meeting a levelized cost less than $40/ton of CO2e.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jack Lewnard
Project Contact:
Prof. Sayan Biswas
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

Related Projects

Release Date: