Inspiration

Our challenge is focused on the Ember & Subak - Tracking methane super-emitters

Did you know that methane is 84% more potent than carbon iv oxide (CO2) as a greenhouse gas that causes climate change because methane traps very large quantities of heat within 10 years of release in the atmosphere and afterwards reacts with ozone forming Co2 and water (ref).

Methane’s weight has 21 times the global warming potential (GWP) of CO2 (ref) and about 576 million metric tons were released between 2008-2017. Fossil fuel industries like coal, oil & gas account for 1/3 yearly anthropogenic methane emission events.

Unfortunately there are no open source methane emission tracking devices linking methane emissions to fossil fuel companies for accountability.

The over 500 privately owned methane devices linking emitted methane to emitting infrastructures are pitched to and funded by these fossil fuel companies. This increases methane emissions as no company is held accountable.

What it does

MethaneTracker reduces methane emission by providing open source data linking methane emission present and past events to the companies emitting them for accountability. This saves the labor cost and time invested in manual gathering of methane emission data, manual calculating of emission impact, manual searching of facility company situated at a zone, and manual research to link companies to specific emission events. This savings can be invested in other sectors like education and health

Though, our first target is the emissions and leaks from fossil fuel industries like coal, oil & gas, the MethaneTrack device can be applied in tracking methane emissions in agricultural sector

It is also a direct resource for the United nation to keep tab on the 2030 goal of reducing emission to 1.5 degree.

Governments can effectively file carbon tax to offenders and sustainability minded individuals access data on environmentally friendly companies when making purchasing decisions.

How we built it

We used (1) C/C++ language and JavaScript; a Node-RED Framework; Raspberry PI platform, reference data sets and data manipulation software

Challenges we ran into

Managing teams & mentors in various time zones for group meetings was challenging. We managed this by using MIRO board and discord to collect thoughts at convenient time zones for all.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We successfully recruited and organized team members with the required complementary and common skills that carried out research on statistics about the root cause of our challenge, created product prototype features and road maps, coded a working prototype of MethaneTracker, created a demo and submitted our idea within deadline.

What we learned

We learned that having great team dynamics and diversified and complementary team skills helped us produce a working product prototype and will drive our success vision to use our product for social good, protect the environment and create sustainable job opportunities.

What's next for METHANETRACK

1)Engagement and timelines:

Year 1 => We will engage the market starting with the petrochemical industries as our first market via marketing campaigns, MVP experiment testing & iterating our product prototype efficiency via insights

We intend to find at least 50 US petrochemical industries via research and social media channels. Metrics is meeting 50% of our target will confirm that MethaneTracker is serving a market need.

Year 2 to 3 => Increased marketing, product launch and partnership with at least 30 US environmentally conscious businesses and organizations using fossil fuels and government agencies tracking methane emissions.

Year 4 to 7 => Source for funding supports, connect to companies within north America via increased marketing campaigns and more partnerships.

Risk & mitigations:

To fully execute the prototype solution, we expect to face difficulties in power management and access to WIFI connection area.

We mitigate by using a deepSleep function and use renewable energy to power up the board and probably using different network connections like NB-IOT or LoRa in the next future development.

Secondly, Research shows potential risk like credibility of a new solution, limited availability of data manipulation resources and conflict of interest in implementing this solution. For example, we expect companies to work against any solution that directly links their methane emissions to them. We mitigate this by making it open source and protecting the identity of company founders for security purposes.

Links:

For MethaneTracker applications screenshots : app: https://methanetracker.github.io/#/

Prototype designs : repo app: https://github.com/MethaneTracker/methanetracker.github.io

IOT link : https://github.com/aktaktaw/climate-hackathon-methane-monitoring-system.git

References: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xmKtNkNYmJS9gpvLvOs4gVFzOPQOMG4oDOtUF_HVf7M/edit Methane worse than Co2: https://www.researchgate.net/post/Why-is-methane-a-stronger-greenhouse-gas-than-carbon-dioxide

Methane worse case: https://theconversation.com/amp/climate-explained-methane-is-short-lived-in-the-atmosphere-but-leaves-long-term-damage-145040

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Updates

posted an update

The first version of our app was built using Flutter (Dart language). The app will incorporate the dashboard with hardware measurements in the future. It is available as an iOs, Android and web application. Currently it is visible at methanetracker.github.io, please check it out!

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