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New found benefits

World Coal,

In today’s mining industry, coal methane has become a popular unconventional form of natural gas – despite being a historical hazard of underground coal mining. Coal methane can now be safely extracted from coal seams and mines, with several options available for mitigation, such as power generation using reciprocating gas engines or turbines, industrial boilers and furnaces, as well as chemical processing. In some cases, methane can also be injected into natural gas pipelines for resale.

The development of a coal mine methane (CMM) power plant typically requires 12 – 18 months from start to completion. The project duration depends very much upon the site’s accessibility, the preparation and complexity of the power plant. For mobility and ease of installation, some generator set manufacturers offer containerised sets that can reduce the project’s completion period.

The world’s developing economies are coming to demand environmentally friendly solutions for power and energy requirements. Caterpillar Inc. has developed a strategy to meet this demand, which begins with composition and stability analysis of CMM. The strategy then in turn determines the best engine solution for a specific site. The company’s G3520C low energy fuel generator sets can use CMM fuel from a range of 25% to 100% methane.

In this report, the authors explain important considerations to take into account when developing CMM power generation projects.

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Author: John Goss and Matt Owen

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