Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation » Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation
Coal mine methane (CMM) is not only a greenhouse gas but also a wasted energy resource if not utilised. Underground mining is by far the most important source of fugitive methane that is amenable to mitigation, and approximately 70% of all coal mining related emissions are attributable to the methane exhausted to the atmosphere by mines. Methane in mine ventilation air can represent a significant proportion of these emissions.
No matter what technologies have been or are being developed for the ancillary and principal uses of ventilation air methane (VAM), an important issue related to implementation of these technologies at mine sites has been ignored, namely the characteristics of the mine ventilation air flows. Unfavourable characteristics could make any potential VAM mitigation and utilisation technology unfeasible. This project addressed the need for mine-site data on characteristics of mine ventilation air flows, dust and other impurities, and identified research required on ventilation air cleaning processes.
The characteristics of ventilation air flows were determined for four mines, and an attempt was made to determine ventilation air quality requirements (dust loading, gaseous contaminant limits etc.) for the major existing and developing VAM mitigation and utilisation technologies.
Major existing and developing cleaning technologies are classified and reviewed with a comparison of their features and performance when cleaning ventilation air. At present, there are four major categories: cyclone separation, electrostatic precipitator, barrier filter and wet scrubbing; and some combinations of these methods.
A technology roadmap is tentatively developed in this project for cleaning mine ventilation air.