Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

The Feasibility Of Enhanced Gas Drainage For Coal Mine Operations

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation » Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Published: August 10Project Number: C17055

Get ReportAuthor: LD Connell, R. Sander, R. Packham, Z. Pan, M. Camilleri, D. Heryanto, N. Lupton | CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering & School of Mining Engineering, University of New South Wales

This report presents the findings of ACARP project C17055 which investigated the feasibility of enhanced coal seam gas drainage for coal mining. Enhanced drainage has the potential to increase the recovery of coal seam gas over normal drainage methods. It involves the injection of a gas, such as nitrogen, into the coal seam, that acts to displace the coal seam gas, which is predominantly methane or CO2. There are a number of potential benefits from this technique but key ones are that a larger proportion of the original gas within the coal is drained over normal drainage practices and the rates of drainage are also higher. For open cut mining reducing the coal seam methane present at the time of mining reduces the mines fugitive emissions.


The study presented in this report investigates the feasibility of enhanced drainage through a combination of experimental studies, reservoir simulation and economic analyses. The experimental studies combined core flooding with other characterization studies in order to estimate the reservoir properties required to perform the reservoir modelling. In the core floods nitrogen and other gases were injected into core samples with methane present at reservoir pressures and temperatures and the rates and composition of gas outflow measured. These experiments provide information on the gas displacement mechanisms such as diffusion coefficients and sweep efficiency. From this work the sweep efficiency was estimated to vary between 90-99%. In a second program of laboratory work a series of other reservoir properties were measured, such as the permeability, geomechanical properties and coal swelling. These measurements were performed on two coal samples from active mining sites; one from the Hunter Valley and another from a site in the Bowen Basin.


In conclusion this project has found that there is good evidence for technical and business case feasibility for enhanced drainage as a means of reducing the gas content in coal seams prior to mining. Technical feasibility is demonstrated through evidence from previous field trials and the experimental program of core flooding work conducted in this project. The economic analysis performed in this project found that enhanced drainage was significantly more economic than primary or normal drainage for the shallow coals seams mined by open cut and that the net present value was positive when there was a CO2 penalty on fugitive emissions of more than approximately $20/tonne CO2e. The next step in evaluating the technical merits of this process would be to conduct a field trial; a field trial would provide a more accurate understanding of reservoir sweep efficiency and the nature of breakthrough of injected gas in production wells.



Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C26047Real Time Dust Monitor

The aim of this project was to develop a real time respirable dust m...

C29034Integrated Roadway Development: A Strategic Industry Review

This report describes the outcomes of a strategic review of Australi...

C26062New Outburst Risk Determination Measures Along With Data Gathering And Analysis For Coal Burst Assessment

Bursts are events that expel material at velocity at the time of eje...


Open Cut

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

Recently Completed Projects

C27009Tailings Revegetation Project Through “The Vegetative Water Pump”

This project aimed to greatly reduce the water trapped below the cru...

C29043Design, Construction And Commissioning Of Tyre Handler Test Apparatus

C29030Mapping Of Elemental Coal Content For Exploration And Mining

This project has analysed the concentrations of 50 elements not typi...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C26010Multi-Sloped Screening Efficiency With Changing Strokes, Frequencies, Feed Solids And Feed Rates-Pilot Plant Study

Optimising multi-sloped screens is often described as an art and the...

C28059Impact Of Water Quality In Coal Handling And Preparations Plants

The objective of this project was to deliver a concise reference do...

C27026Ultra-Low Ash Coal By 3D Binder Flotation

The objective of this project was to investigate the potential to pr...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C28067Characterisation Of Complex Coal Blends, And Methodology To Investigate Thermal Coals Based On Compositional Analysis

This project built on the outcomes from project C25049 (Fusibility ...

C28066Influence Of Coal Blending On Coke Nanoporosity And CO2 Reactivity

Reactivity of coke is one of the most important parameters that defi...

C29077The Effects Of Ash Minerals On Coke Reactivity At High Temperatures

An investigation into how coke mineralogy affects coke reactivity ha...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

C27054Optimisation Of A Thermal Flow Reversal Reactor For Ventilation Air Methane Mitigation

Ventilation air methane (VAM) generally accounts for 50-85% of the t...

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...

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


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