ACARP ACARP ACARP ACARP
Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Low Temperature Oxidation and Spontaneous Combustion at Surface Coal Mines in Australia

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation » Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Published: July 06Project Number: C14081

Get ReportAuthor: Stuart Day, F Fry, P Gangopakhyay, John Carras | CSIRO Energy Technology

Greenhouse gas emissions from low temperature oxidation and spontaneous combustion from surface coal mines continue to be difficult to quantify and, as a result, are not included in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) inventory of greenhouse emissions. However, this situation may change and in anticipation of this possibility, ACARP has funded research in this area over the past five years.

The first of these projects was ACARP Project C8059 (Carras et al., 2000) in which emissions were measured by placing a specially built chamber over areas of spontaneous combustion in coal mine waste material. The results from that study
provided the first direct measurements of greenhouse gas emissions from spontaneous combustion and low temperature oxidation but the technique was extremely labour intensive and required many measurements to estimate emissions over an entire mine.

During Project C8059, a loose correlation between ground temperature and greenhouse gas emissions rate was observed and this led to the development of Project C9062 (Carras et al., 2002) which sought to use airborne infrared thermography to measure ground temperature and thereby estimate emissions over large areas. Although thermography proved to be very effective at identifying areas of spontaneous combustion, emissions determined by this technique were still subject to large uncertainty. Consequently, the most recent project, which is currently underway, C13073 - Determination of the greenhouse gas emissions from spontaneous combustion, was established to investigate the use of inverse methods to determine emissions from spontaneous combustion. In this approach, CO2 concentrations in the air downwind of areas affected by spontaneous combustion are being monitored over extended periods and air pollution modelling techniques applied to estimate the flux of CO2 from the source.

While past and current research has focussed on methods for estimating emissions from spontaneous combustion there is at present little quantitative information on the relative size of these emissions compared with other greenhouse gas sources within individual coal mines or the coal industry overall. To address this situation, the project described in this report was established with two objectives:

  • to assess the significance of greenhouse gas emissions from spontaneous combustion for individual coal mines and
  • to investigate the suitability of satellite imaging as a means of estimating the significance of spontaneous combustion across the coal industry.

This study provides the first estimates, based on actual mine data, of the significance of greenhouse gas emissions from spontaneous combustion for a number of individual surface coal mines. These estimates place this emission source in context for individual mines. The study also provides a scoping document on the feasibility of using satellite data to estimate the significance of spontaneous combustion across the entire black coal industry.

Underground

Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Underground

Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C19024Establishing Ecologically Sustainable Mine Water Release Criteria In Seasonally Flowing Streams

Extreme rainfall conditions in the Fitzroy Catchment over an approxi...

C25030Coal Mine Open Pit Final Void Closure And Relinquishment - Addressing Uncertainty In Coal Mine Environmental Planning

This report addresses uncertainties faced by coal mine operators whe...

C27046Estimation Of True Deformation Vector From Slope Radar Monitoring

Slope deformation radar monitors are now widely used in open cut coa...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C27004Improving Coal Flotation With Oscillatory Air Supply

This report provides detailed information on coal flotation with os...

C25018Improving Solids Recovery And Moisture Reduction In Ultrafine Coal Dewatering

This report provides detailed information on fine coal dewatering in...

C27028Lab Froth Flotation Testing Guide With Coal Quality

Correct outcomes from laboratory froth flotation testing in coal bor...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C26039Nanoporosity In Cokes: Their Origin, Control And Influence On CO2 Reactivity

This project using the outcomes of previous project C24060, examine...

C28063A Comprehensive Technical Review Of High-Efficiency Low-Emission (HELE) Pulverised Coal Combustion Technologies For Power Generation

Research and development has been undertaken worldwide to realise co...

C28064Carbon Structure Transformation During Coking Of Australian Coking Coals: Better Understanding The Coke Formation

Carbon structures of coke that are formed during the plastic layer a...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL) - Phase 2 Demonstration In A Packed Bed Reactor

An alternative approach to high temperature oxidation of ventilation...

C26004CFD Modelling Of Reverse Thermal Oxidisers For VAM Abatement - CFD Modelling Of Fixed-Bed RTO Devices

The project is part of a larger multi‐phase program of study a...

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community

NERDDC

National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook

NERDDC