Science Creates member, QLM, have successfully secured seed funding that will enable them to further develop their technology that detects emissions of methane and other key greenhouse gases.
QLM are developing sensors that can detect and image gas leaks from over 100 metres away from the source. The start-up uses quantum-inspired technology to spot tiny amounts of leaks from a safe distance, allowing them to scan larger areas much faster and at a reduced cost than existing surveys.
Currently focusing on methane, the company is in the process of miniaturising their prototype, meaning it could be handheld, post-mounted or drone mounted. Methane is one of the most serious contributors to climate change, and leaks from the oil and gas industry are one of the biggest sources of methane release to the atmosphere. QLM’s technology could allow them to quickly identify and map the size of a leak, speeding up repairs and reducing the amount of methane leaked. They are also looking to adapt the technology to work for a range of other gases.
Based at the Science Creates Incubator Unit DX, the QLM team have been drawing together experts from a range of fields to collaborate on their innovative technology. The nine strong team have expertise in photonics development, mission critical computing, software development, automation and machine learning, lidar beam technology, system integration, electronics design, quantum sensors and optics.
QLM Chief Technical Officer, Xiao Ai, carried out postgraduate research into single photon Lidar gas detection at the University of Bristol. Lidar beam can simultaneously probe both the shape and the concentration of plumes of methane, and could help enable organisations worldwide to achieve Net Zero through mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
QLM is now ready to release its new solution to the industry – the first camera system that continuously visualises and quantifies greenhouse gas emissions.
“This funding round will enable us to scale up our development and launch our business providing next-generation greenhouse gas monitoring. Our unique quantum Lidar is the right solution for the challenge of how to effectively measure industrial methane emissions, and meet the major commitments that the oil and gas majors have made to control their greenhouse gas emissions.”
The investment is led by the Green Angel Syndicate and includes the Enterprise100 syndicate, the Newable Venture Fund, the Development Bank of Wales, the Bristol Private Equity Club, the Britbots Seed Fund, and Houston-based oilfield technology solutions provider ChampionX. The multidisciplinary consortium of green investors, technology accelerators and oil and gas industry professionals shares QLM’s vision of enabling organisations to achieve Net Zero through mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
The investment will drive the expansion of QLM’s technical and commercial capability, secure industrial validation of the unique quantum TDLidar technique, and provide a roadmap to commercial readiness of the revolutionary quantum gas camera.