For over 20 years we have provided and installed geosynthetic liners and systems to the solid waste industry throughout the United States, making us the largest installer in the nation. So, we spend a lot of time in the solid waste industry and can easily identify value for the industry. We see it with Sniffer Robotics.
As solid waste decomposes, methane gas is one of the by-products. According to the EPA, “Municipal solid waste landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 16 percent of these emissions in 2016. Methane is one of several non-CO2 gases that contribute to global climate change.” Landfill gas developers who have equipment near to the landfill capture and burn the landfill gas (including methane) generated by waste decomposition. Gas developers also want to ensure that they minimizing any release of methane into the atmosphere since it is lost opportunity.
Federal regulations require many solid waste landfills to manually monitor the release of methane into the atmosphere. The process, referred to as “Surface Emissions Monitoring” (SEM) requires a technician to walk the surface of the landfill with a handheld detector at least quarterly. For ever acre of landfill surface, the technician generally walks 0.2 miles. For 100 acre sites, the technician will walk 20 miles over hazardous conditions in varying weather conditions. The job is taxing and requires exceptional health and situational awareness.
Sniffer Robotics has developed an automated means for surface emissions monitoring (SEM) using drone technology. Their technology, referred to as the SnifferDRONE™ greatly minimizes the hazards associated with the work. It also provides precise and objective methane emissions data rather than subjective data based on manual interpretation. When combined with manual cover penetration inspection and other advanced aerial imagery, Sniffer Robotics’ solution delivers a comprehensive cover health assessment providing site owners, regulators, and stakeholders, a credible analysis of the site’s methane emissions and overall site health. If you would like to know more about what Sniffer Robotics can do, check out The SnifferDRONE Story which describes the technology and benefit to customers.
Through Series A funding, ESI became an early investor and minority shareholder in Sniffer Robotics. Their technology, market approach, and alignment with ESI’s customers and cultural values, makes it a great fit for ESI and we are excited for the future of Sniffer Robotics.