PARC Wins IDTechEx Printed Electronics Award

Press Release

Printed Methane Sensors Project Honored in Technical Development Materials Category

November 15, 2018 – Palo Alto, Calif.— PARC, a Xerox company, today announced that its Printed Methane Sensors project has won an IDTechEx Technical Development Materials Award. The inaugural program honors the most significant technical development over the last 24 months in the field of material development.

This project from PARC represents the first demonstration of measurement of methane and identification of methane leaks using printed materials in a real-world setting. There are more than 1 million oil and gas wells in North America. Methane, the principal component of natural gas, is a 30 times more potent global warming forcer than CO2, yet scalable, cost-effective leak detection technologies are unavailable. PARC’s technology promises to enable comprehensive emission monitoring across the natural gas infrastructure.

“We’re proud to be honored by such a respected team of international printed electronics experts for our methane sensing project,” said David Schwartz, Area Manager at PARC. “This work demonstrates that printed electronics technology can provide solutions for important challenges with global significance.” 

PARC developed a low-power, low-cost, leak-detection system for methane based on arrays of printed modified carbon nanotube sensor elements that operate at ambient temperature and humidity. The sensor materials developed by PARC and NASA Ames Research Center enable printed-carbon nanotube methane sensors to be used outside of the laboratory. This breakthrough promises to enable the graduation of printed carbon nanotube-based gas sensors from laboratory demonstrations to practical products. 

These printable materials can detect methane down to concentrations of 5 ppm or less in the presence of relative humidity of nearly 60 percent or higher. This is sufficient for leak detection in real deployments. Using these sensors, together with PARC-developed low-power self-forming network electronics, PARC has demonstrated leak detection as well as leak source localization down to 1 m2 in blind testing at a simulated gas well site in Colorado.

Printed sensors have been developed to detect many different analytes and conditions. The transition to commercialization has been limited by challenges in reliability and performance in practical environments. The printed methane detection materials PARC is working towards are a key advance towards bridging that gap and making printed sensors a reality.

For more information about PARC, please visit 

About IDTechEx

Since 1999 IDTechEx has provided independent market research, business intelligence and events on emerging technologies to clients in 80 countries. IDTechEx’s insights help clients make strategic business decisions and grow their organizations. IDTechEx’s experienced business and technology experts provide international perspective in 3D Printing, Advanced Materials, Electric Vehicles, Emerging Devices, Energy Storage, Life Sciences, Off Grid, Printed Electronics, RFID & Internet of Things, Robotics, Sensors and Wearable Technology. IDTechEx is headquartered in Cambridge, UK with additional offices in USA, Germany and Japan and associates in South Korea. 

About PARC

PARC, a Xerox Company provides custom R&D, technology, expertise, best practices and intellectual property to Fortune 500 companies, startups and government agencies. For nearly 50 years, PARC has lived at the leading edge of innovation. Through an Open Innovation approach that combines scientific creativity, interdisciplinary collaboration and business drive, PARC continues to invent, develop and deliver breakthrough technologies with the capacity to transform or create new global markets. Bringing together leading scientists, engineers and designers, PARC works across multiple industries, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence and Human-Machine Collaboration, Internet of Things and Machine Intelligence, Digital Design and Manufacturing, Novel Printing, Microsystems and Smart Devices, and the Digital Workplace. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Marshall Hampson for PARC, a Xerox Company
Lumina Communications
(408) 680-0561

Tag Person: David Eric Schwartz

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