Thousands of Natural Gas Leaks Found in Boston
by LiveScience Staff
Date: 21 November 2012 Time: 10:51 AM ET
|A map showing natural gas emissions across Boston.|
CREDIT: Nathan Phillips, Boston University
Beneath the streets of Boston is an aging network of natural gas pipelines that delivers fuel to heat homes and power appliances but also threatens to feed fires and even cause explosions. Highlighting the need for repairs, a new study detected more than 3,300 natural gas leaks throughout the city.
Researchers from Boston University and Duke logged 785 road miles (1,263 kilometers) in the city, driving around in a GPS-equipped car with a device to measure methane, the chief chemical component of natural gas. The team discovered 3,356 separate natural gas leaks — some of them potentially hazardous.
"While our study was not intended to assess explosion risks, we came across six locations in Boston where gas concentrations exceeded the threshold above which explosions can occur," Nathan Phillips, associate professor at BU, said in a statement
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