CONSOL reducing methane emissions using regenerative thermal oxidation

first_imgCONSOL Energy has joined with Verdeo Group to develop the first project to destroy ventilation air methane (VAM) emissions at an active West Virginia coal mine. The project, which will be located at CONSOL’s McElroy mine in Marshall County, will demonstrate significant reductions of emissions of methane in a safe and proven manner, and without any impact on mine operations or production. It will use regenerative thermal oxidation (RTO) technology, which has been successfully deployed in industrial process applications for many decades.It will be the first time the technology will be deployed at an active coal mine in West Virginia, and among the largest such projects of its kind in the US to date. To date, several technology installations have been employed in the US at facilities, including a coal mine, that fall under the jurisdiction of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.“Companies will require a wide range of tools and incentives to effectively reduce GHG emissions,” said Steve Winberg, CONSOL’s Vice President of Research and Development. “CONSOL Energy has committed to utilise as much of its coal mine methane resources as possible. This project will allow us to abate a dilute source of methane that has no commercial value and would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere.”Methane gas is inherent in coal seams and is liberated during the mining process. Coal mines control underground methane emissions through the use of ventilation systems, which circulate large quantities of fresh air through the mine to dilute the methane, and then exhaust the VAM to the surface of the mine and to the atmosphere. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, VAM represents the largest source of GHG emissions from US coal mines.“Verdeo is pleased to have the opportunity to finance and co-develop this project with CONSOL,” said Jeff Liebert, Managing Director for Verdeo. “Through this collaboration, CONSOL continues to be on the cutting edge of research and new technology development, and is demonstrating its leadership in the effort to proactively reduce GHG emissions,” he added.“This project is a stepping stone to utilising this commercially available equipment on our other mines, reducing our overall methane emissions and potentially creating carbon offset credits,” Winberg added.As a result of the emergence of trading markets for GHG emission reductions, voluntary initiatives like the McElroy VAM project can generate revenue from the sale of carbon offset credits. The value of these credits enables mine operators such as CONSOL to secure capital from companies like Verdeo to pay for the RTO technology. The carbon offset credits generated from the VAM oxidation project at the McElroy mine will be registered with the Climate Action Reserve, a leading pre-compliance certification program in the US that approved a protocol for coal mine methane projects in 2009.Development efforts between CONSOL and Verdeo are actively underway. The project is expected to become operational in the second quarter of 2011. Verdeo Group is a leading developer of projects that reduce methane emissions in the mining, oil and gas sectors.last_img

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