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Coal Mine Ventilation Air Methane (VAM) Project Development and Mitigation Options Jayne Somers, Ph.D., P.E. US Environmental Protection Agency 13 th North.

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Presentation on theme: "Coal Mine Ventilation Air Methane (VAM) Project Development and Mitigation Options Jayne Somers, Ph.D., P.E. US Environmental Protection Agency 13 th North."— Presentation transcript:

1 Coal Mine Ventilation Air Methane (VAM) Project Development and Mitigation Options Jayne Somers, Ph.D., P.E. US Environmental Protection Agency 13 th North American Mine Ventilation Symposium Sudbury, Canada June 14, 2010

2 Presentation Overview  Background on VAM Emissions  U.S.VAM Data Summary  Mitigation Technologies  Oxidation: Catalytic and Thermal  Gas Turbines  Hybrid Waste Coal/VAM Rotary Kiln

3 Global Recovery & Utilization of CMM Degasification systems  CMM drainage at active underground coal mines: 14 countries CMM recovery and utilization projects  At active and/or abandoned (closed) coal mines: 13 countries 227 total CMM projects worldwide, 36 proposed or in development  Avoided methane emissions: > 3.8 billion cubic meters annually (> 54 MMTCO 2 E / yr)

4 Background on VAM  Mine safety regulations require gassy underground coal mines to assure that methane concentrations in the mine workings are maintained at safe levels - Well below the lower explosive limit (5% in air)  Mines employ large scale ventilation systems to vent methane to the atmosphere - Pre-mine drainage can supplement ventilation

5 Background on VAM  Ventilation air methane (VAM) is largest source of coal mine methane (CMM) emissions - 54% of all U.S. CMM emissions in 2005  Capturing and using VAM is challenging - Large airflows: 100,000 to 1 million cfm ( m3/s) - Low concentrations: range 0.1 to 1.0%, often 0.3 to 0.5%  Variable, both flow and concentration

6 Harnessing U.S. Ventilation Air Methane (VAM)  Largest source of coal mine methane  Low methane concentrations (<1%)  Technologies emerging to harness ventilation air methane - As primary fuel - As secondary fuel

7 Summary of U.S. MSHA VAM Data  Mines >0.3% methane  Quarterly sampling  39 mines with 78 exhausts  0.3 – 1.26% CH 4

8 Global VAM emissions (2002) Emissions Country (Bm 3 ) % world China United States Ukraine Russia Australia Total World 17.3

9 Harnessing Ventilation Air Methane (VAM) (cont’d)  As Supplemental Fuel at Appin-Tower Collieries (Australia)  Installed in 1995  54 x 1 MW IC engines produce power from gob gas  VAM used as feed air: - supplied 7% of energy

10 VAM Oxidation Technologies Thermal Flow Reversal Reactors (TFRR)  Commercial project: MEGTEC Systems  Pilot project : Biothermica

11 VAM Oxidation Technologies  Durr Systems (Wisconsin, USA)  Gulf Coast Environmental (Texas, USA)  Sheng Dong Group (China)  Catalytic Oxidizer: CH 4 Min Prototype CANMET Energy Centre (Canada) licensed by Sindicatum Carbon Capitol (SCC Americas)

12 Flow-reversal Oxidation Technology Schematic of an Oxidizer Valve #1 open = Valve #2 open = *Heat recovery piping not shown HeatExchanger Valve 2 Valve 1 Valve 2 Air & CH 4 Air & C0 2, H 2 0 & Heat* Heat Exchange Medium

13 MEGTEC Systems - VOCSIDIZER MEGTEC VOCSIDIZER  2007: Oxidation & electricity generation, West Cliff Colliery, Australia  2007: Oxidation only – Abandoned Windsor Mine (CONSOL Energy, West Liberty, West Virginia)  2008: Oxidation & hot water, Zhengzhou, Henan, China  2010: Oxidation & hot water, Datong, Chongqing, China

14 WestVAMP West Cliff Ventilation Air Methane Project Startup: April 2007 Capacity: 250,000 m3/hour (150,000 scfm) of mine exhaust air VAM concentration: 0.9 percent Generation unit: steam turbine Electricity output: 6 MW Four (4) VOCSIDIZER units (capturing 20% of VAM output) Ongoing project with two revenue sources - Electricity (over 80GWh generated) - Carbon credits from New South Wales trading scheme (over 500,000 traded)

15 WestVAMP

16 Zhengzhou, Henan, China  First VAM project approved by UNFCCC under the CDM Mechanism  Single VOCSIDIZER unit  0.3% - 0.7% CH4 concentration range

17 CONSOL Windsor Mine Demonstration  Using diluted, drained CMM to simulate VAM  Single MEGTEC VOCSIDIZER unit  Operated unattended with a VAM concentration of 0.6 percent  Project partly funded by USEPA & USDOE  Goals were to verify: - Ability to maintain VAM oxidation - System safety - Operability and maintenance with field conditions - Capacity: 30,000 scfm of simulated VAM

18 CONSOL Windsor Mine Demonstration

19 Biothermica – VAMOX™  Jim Walter Resources  Brookwood, Alabama, USA  Active Mine No. 7  2008: MSHA approval received  27,000 carbon credits in first year of operation  Listed with the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) Typical VAMOX™ System

20 Jim Walters Resources VAM Demonstration  Single Biothermica VAMOX unit  Capacity: 30,000 cfm  VAM concentration: 0.9 percent  Greenhouse gas emission mitigation: >35,000 tonnes of CO 2 e per year  Revenues: Carbon emission reductions  Projected lifetime: > 4 years

21 CONSOL McElroy Mine VAM Project  Marshall County, West Virginia  Verdeo Group is financing  Registered with Climate Action Reserve  Planned operation: mid-2011

22 Gas Turbines  Lean fuel gas turbine  Microturbines: - Ingersol Rand Energy Systems - FlexEnergy

23 CONSOL CMM-Fired Microturbine  In early 2007, CONSOL Energy – in partnership with Ingersoll Rand Energy Systems – successfully demonstrated electricity generation by a microturbine fueled by unprocessed CMM at Bailey mine in Pennsylvania.  The unit underwent a one-year operational phase.  The 70 kW microturbine expected to generate approximately 500 MWh of electricity while consuming approximately 8 MMCF of methane that would have otherwise been emitted to the atmosphere.

24 Hybrid Coal Mine Gas Technology (HCGT)  Combusts waste coal and VAM in a rotary kiln  Generates thermal energy for electricity or steam  Three 10 MW power plants were planned in India over the next five years  EESTECH and Aryan Clean Coal Technologies joint venture

25 Technology Deployment Benefits Ability to mitigate the largest source of coal mine emissions worldwide Capability to capture and beneficially use VAM’s dilute energy content Adds to energy security by beneficially using a currently wasted energy source Multiple vendors should lead to cost competition that will drive down project capital costs Attractive payback times (3 - 6 years) can be achieved at VAM concentrations > 0.6 percent and carbon emission reduction sale prices ≥ $10.00 per tonne CO 2 e

26 Technology Deployment Challenges Newer technology; field experience limited to a few countries Most VAM concentrations exiting the mine are below 1 percent May need supplemental methane (drained gas) to raise VAM inlet concentrations to near 1 percent

27 Conclusions  Flow-reversal oxidation of VAM with power generation is a proven technology  Field installations of various technologies are multiplying  Potential global market for VAM-to- power applications is large  Emerging cost competitiveness should enhance project economics

28 USEPA Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP)  Voluntary climate change program since 1994  Promote the profitable recovery and use of coal mine methane (CMM)  Support CMM project development  International Methane to Markets Partnership

29 Methane to Markets Partnership Encourages development of cost-effective methane recovery and use opportunities in –coal mines –landfills –oil and gas systems and –agriculture (manure waste management) Private companies, multilateral development banks and other relevant organizations participate by joining the Project Network – over 900 organizations now participating 34 Partner Governments Japan Kazakhstan Korea Mexico Mongolia Nigeria Pakistan Peru Philippines Poland Russia Thailand Ukraine United Kingdom United States Vietnam Argentina Australia Brazil Bulgaria* Canada Chile China Colombia Dominican Republic European Comm. Ecuador Finland Georgia Germany India Italy

30 For more information, please contact us! Jayne Somers USEPA Climate Change Division


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