Slashing CO2

Founded: 2019

HQ: Oakland, CA

Flaring concentrated methane leaks.

Big Picture

Methane (CH4) seeps out of many sources from Arctic permafrost to cow burps, but the biggest sources of all are coal mines and gas wells. Methane doesn’t hang around the atmosphere as long as CO2, but while it’s up there it generates 84x more warming per molecule. So, flaring it results in 98% less atmospheric warming over a decade than if the gas were simply allowed to escape into the atmosphere.

How it Works

Frost Methane develops a fleet of distributed, remote flares at abandoned and active coal mines, as well as natural sources. The devices convert high-flow methane sources into water and CO2. Careful engineering, real-time alerts, and an automatic relight mechanism limit maintenance and keep costs to one-tenth of competing systems. This generates methane offsets they sell to regulated industries. 

Unfair Advantage

Their flares combust methane at 10x lower capex than other productive uses of the gas. And, they operate unattended in highly inhospitable conditions with minimal maintenance over the span of multiple years. Carbon markets will pay 25x more for flared methane than they do for CO2 offsets, and now they offer predictability too: California-Quebec Cap & Trade officially selected mine methane as an offset type. 

98

Percent less CO2e

for every unit of flared methane

OLYA IRZAK CEO & FOUNDER

Olya is a software engineer and expert in energy systems who worked at Google, X (the moonshot factory), and Zola Electric.

Follow: @twitatolya

ELIZABETH HILLSTROM SENIOR MECHANICAL ENGINEER

Elizabeth built testing systems for advanced power generation and designed high-bandwidth satellite optical communication links.


Frost Methane Labs

My Climate Journey Podcast

Artic adventures: Olya Irzak of Frost Methane

Work On Climate

Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of Arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers

Nature Geosciences