DOE projects to recover coal mine gas

The US Department of Energy will help fund three projects to capture coal mine methane gas emissions. The National Energy Technology Laboratory, DOE's chief field site for its fossil energy research program, said the Mine Safety and Health Administration estimates 400 US coal mines emit nearly 250 MMcfd of methane.

Sep 18th, 2000


Washington, DC�The US Department of Energy will help fund three projects to capture coal mine methane gas emissions.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory, DOE's chief field site for its fossil energy research program, said coal mine methane is gas that escapes into the atmosphere when coal is mined, while coalbed methane is gas trapped in unmined coal seams. It said the Mine Safety and Health Administration estimates 400 US mines emit nearly 250 MMcfd.

"Because methane is more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat within the earth's atmosphere, these coal mine emissions are equivalent to the combustion exhausts of roughly a dozen 500-Mw coal-fired power plants.

The private sector participant will contribute at least half the costs of the 3-year projects.

Appalachian-Pacific Coal Mine Methane Power Co. LLC, Arlington, Va., will work with West Virginia University Research Corp., Morgantown, W.Va., and Invitation Energy, Mannington, W.Va., to convert coal mine methane from mines in Marion County, W.Va., and surrounding areas into liquefied natural gas to fuel heavy trucks.

Northwest Fuel Development Inc., Lake Oswego, Ore., will build a combination gas processing/power generation system at a West Virginia coal mine to produce 500 MMcfd of pipeline-quality gas and 1.2 Mw of electric power.

Fuel Cell Energy Inc., Danbury, Conn., will field-test a fuel cell power plant that would produce 250 kw of electricity by capturing and using coal mine methane emissions from a mine in Cadiz, Ohio.

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