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Large release of methane to the atmosphere from a pipeline "blowdown"

Large release of methane to the atmosphere from a pipeline "blowdown" (Credit: Howarth, Biogeosciences, 2019)

During a blowdown, all of the methane from a pipeline is released to the atmosphere so that maintenance or repairs can be done on the pipeline with less risk of explosion. Although methane is invisible to the naked eye, the blowdown can be seen from the water vapor condensing into fog due to the rapid cooling from the release of the methane.

Credit: Howarth, Biogeosciences, 2019

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