Measuring 600mm long and 45mm wide, the Gasclam is designed to sit inside small boreholes on potential development sites and monitor harmful gases, such as methane, which can cause explosions.
The constant monitoring system collects information about the movement and build-up of underground methane, and uses GPRS to transmit the data, which allows for long-distance observation of the site.
According to Dr Stephen Boult, a lecturer of hydrochemistry within The School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Studies (SEAES) at Manchester who has helped to develop the system, current equipment only allows for periodic measurements to be taken, which could restrict the development of brownfield sites. For example, a one-off measurement may show a constant concentration of methane in a certain area, which would discourage construction.
The Gasclam’s continous monitoring, however, may reveal a low level of methane, which means that the site could then be considered for development.
The research project is being carried out in conjunction with the Greater Manchester Geological Unit (GMGU).