UK-based photonics startup QLM raises €14.2 million for technology to quantify greenhouse gas emissions

UK-based QLM, a quantum optical sensor startup, announced on Thursday that it has raised £12 million (approximately €14.24 million) in a Series A round of funding. The round was led by Schlumberger, a technology company that partners with customers to “create industry-changing technologies that unlock cleaner and safer energy access for every community.

Existing investors Green Angel Syndicate, Enterprise100 Syndicate, Development Bank of Wales, Renewable Ventures and several private investors also participated in the round. New investor Quantum Exponential also joined the round.

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Cooperation with Schlumberger

QLM also signed a collaboration agreement with Schlumberger to advance the detection of greenhouse gas emissions.

With help from Innovate UK, QLM has created a new type of LiDAR camera based on quantum technology that can not only see but also accurately quantify greenhouse gas emissions.

The gas imager helps customers monitor, detect, precisely locate and quantify sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for rapid remediation. A connected version of the product allows remote measurement of flare performance. The global deployment of QLM’s LiDAR technology is made possible by its inherent scalability to low cost at high volume.

Murray Reid, CEO of QLM, said: “The technology is unique in the emissions monitoring market in its potential to achieve the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduction at the lowest cost of ownership. The funding will allow us to scale up our production, enabling significant cost reductions as we roll out our solution across greenhouse gas intensive industries and markets.”

How will Schlumberger support QLM?

The strategic collaboration will help QLM technology become part of Schlumberger’s new business proposition for end-to-end emissions solutions (SEES) for the oil and gas industry.

According to a statement, the methane monitoring service offered by SEES builds on previous investments in sensors deployed on satellites, aircraft and drones, as well as additional sensors developed internally.

When continuous monitoring is required, QLM’s LiDAR technology provides precise and sensitive measurements in addition to conventional mobile monitors. For flares that cannot yet be eradicated, the ability to measure flare performance will ensure optimal performance.

Kahina Abdelli-Galinier, Business Director for Emissions at Schlumberger, says: “SEES selects partners after a rigorous technical evaluation to identify innovative technology that complements our existing measurement solutions. QLM LiDAR technology will allow operators to continuously monitor their facilities for methane emissions, and the technology excels in its ability to detect even small emissions; to accurately quantify emission levels; to provide useful information by accurately locating the source of emissions; and to fit upstream, midstream and downstream facilities of all sizes.’

Briefly about QLM technology

Founded in 2017 with support from the University of Bristol’s Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre, QLM is a photonics technology and analytics company headquartered in Cardiff with operations in Bristol and San Francisco.

The company has developed a new type of gas imaging camera that combines LiDAR and gas absorption spectroscopy with single photon detection. This imaging technology can detect, visualize, localize and accurately quantify levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The solution helps customers in GHG-intensive industries identify and prioritize downstream emitters for removal in a cost-effective manner.

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