Skip to main content

Bacteria to tackle coal mine methane emissions

World Coal,

An Australian industrial waste recycling team will tackle the problem of fugitive coal mine methane (CMM) emissions from underground coal mining using bacteria.

A partnership between researchers at James Cook University, the Advanced Manufacturing CRC, and Australian industrial waste emissions innovator, MBD Energy, have partnered to create a new CMM remediation solution using methanotrophic bacteria. MBD Energy’s proprietary biological growth membranes is to be developed and trialled in Queensland, Australia.

The methanotrophic bacteria are first cultivated under strictly-controlled growth conditions. They are then able to convert coal mine vent captured methane into CO2, which can then be recycled into useful products, such as fuels and fertilisers, according to MBD Energy.

The project currently remains in its infancy at MBD Energy’s R&D facility at James Cook University. Following the completion of the early project stages, the methane capture and recycling process is expected to be trialled at German Creek coal mine, owned by global mining company, Anglo American, in Central Queensland.

The CMM remediation project will focus on the cultivation of methanotrophic bacteria for the conversion of methane to CO2; design a cost-effective two-stage bio-filtration system; and look at the economic feasibility of using methane-derived CO2 for the possible production of saleable products.

According to MBD Energy, methane is rated up to 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than the equivalent amount of CO2. Although produced in much smaller quantities as a result of human activity than CO2, CMM, typically released from coal seams, nevertheless represents a growing environmental concern.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

Read the article online at:


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):