At the COP26 summit, 105 countries pledged to cut methane emissions 30% by 2030. However, new and improved tools for detecting, measuring, and quantifying emissions at the terrestrial level are needed. The EPA believes that current emissions reporting significantly understates actual emissions.
Enter Sniffer Robotics
Sniffer Robotics is a technology as a service company providing new, more accurate, and effective emissions detection and management services for greenhouse gasses to industries’ largest emitters: waste, oil and gas, agriculture, and mining.
Arthur Mohr founded Sniffer Robotics after spending years in the waste sector building deep relationships and gaining a comprehensive understanding of the industry’s emission issues and needs. It was apparent that the industry lacked appropriate technological innovation for effective, efficient emissions management. Applying this experience while researching multiple technologies, a UAV-based system was developed with the necessary means to manage and remediate landfill emissions.
How it Works
Sniffer Robotics has developed SnifferDRONE, which is an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). Sniffer Robotics’ UAS combines existing intelligent drone hardware with internally developed software, technology, and processes in an integrated emissions monitoring system.
SnifferDRONE provides real time, data-rich actionable information, allowing clients to digitally transform their operations to quickly analyze and address emissions issues. This patented, specialized UAS provides extensive, highly accurate emissions data with specific leak location coordinates, enabling more rapid, efficient, and effective site monitoring and remediation than any other approach and/or technology.
Competition is fragmented and varied: approaches vary from sophisticated satellite solutions to manual inspection by small engineering firms. Few others offer services and/or technology like Sniffer Robotics’.
Today, landfill SEM (Surface Emissions Monitoring) is a manual process that involves a technician walking around with a handheld detector. This dangerous, labor-intensive method produces poor, subjective, and uncertain results. LiDAR and satellite technology are examples of newer technologies that improve accountability. However, these methods do not give localized data for quick, effective cleanup and flux monitoring, and they do not comply with existing EPA rules.
While in a competitive service market, Sniffer Robotics has proven successful based on technology differentiation. Their technology and approach demonstrate proof of concept, credibility, and commercial applicability. Additionally, their technology is compatible with methods presently specified by federal and state regulations.
Their UAS technology and approach have been submitted for EPA approval as an “alternative method for mandated quarterly surface emissions reporting.” When approved, Sniffer Robotics will likely become the industry standard for SEM due to its higher efficiency, increased verifiable data, comparable cost, and greater safety versus current practices.
The rising focus on climate change and ESG from industry and governments is a significant growth catalyst for the sector. The total addressable market for global emissions monitoring and management is $10.5B, and it is projected to grow to $43B by 2030. Additionally, the addressable market for waste management is estimated at $1.5-2B, growing to $4B by 2030.
Five years ago, the team realized that climate change was creating imminent need for better greenhouse gas emission management and detection using more effective technology. To date, Sniffer Robotics’ technology and commercialization development efforts focus on methane emissions, particularly in landfills (municipal solid waste). In the US, this market is meaningful physically: there are 2,800+ landfills covering 350,000+ acres that may require SEM monitoring. Sniffer Robotics’ strategy is to further their beachhead in municipal solid waste while taking steps to pivot and adapt their offerings to oil and gas, agriculture, and mining. This will enable them to expand globally.
The intensified focus on climate change is resulting in explosive growth in emissions management. Sniffer Robotics is in a prime position to provide turn-key landfill emissions management – their revenues are thriving, and they are already embraced by the waste sector’s blue-chip companies (Waste Management, Republic Services, Waste Connections, GFL Environmental, and Casella Waste Systems). Once a customer site is acquired, they become embedded in its emissions program. Sniffer Robotics has a unique patented technology to address market needs.
About The Author
Co-Founder @ The Impact
Daniel currently works at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a Product Manager. Outside of his day job, he is a Principal at C3, Tech Scout at For ClimateTech, and Venture Scout at Prithvi. He also works with various climate incubators/accelerators (Cleantech Open, Techstars, and Joules Accelerator) and runs The Impact and Innovate Climate – both are newsletters covering startups in the climate space.