Coal Mine Methane (CMM) is a readily available, alternative source of energy that can be used for electricity and heat generation. In line with the ever-stricter international environmental regulations, a possibility of introducing a future tax on methane emissions has already been discussed. Should such measure ever materialize, an effective capture and use of CMM, benefits of which are currently appreciated only by a few, would become an economically-dictated necessity for all operators of gassy mines.
However, an effective capture and use of CMM is beneficial not only in fiscal terms. Advantages of utilizing recovered methane rather than venting it to the atmosphere are multidimensional:
- economical, because CMM can serve as an alternative and easily available resource for energy and heat generation,
- environmental, due to the fact that methane is a potent pollutant significantly contributing to the greenhouse effect, and
- social, for lowering emissions not only improves the quality of life in mining areas, but also contributes to job preservation in a rapidly declining coal sector (by providing a new activity, and thus also a new direct or indirect source of income to mine operators).
In this context, UNECE Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane, the International Centre of Excellence on Coal Mine Methane in Poland (ICE-CMM in Poland), and the Global Methane Initiative (GMI) organized a seminar that was delivered within the framework of the School of Underground Mining (SUM).
While due to complexity of the topic not all aspects of CMM could have been addressed during the session, the following subject-matters were discussed:
- pre-mine drainage,
- directional drilling,
- ventilation air methane (VAM),
- abandoned mine methane (AMM),
- CMM utilization.
The seminar was well attended by the representatives of important local and international companies and other professionals operating in the fields of CMM and AMM in Poland and abroad, as well as by academicians and students involved in work in the fields in question. A representative of European Commission participated in the event and delivered a presentation. All together 16 presentations were delivered, and one panel discussion was held. The event was positively perceived by the audience, presenters, and the organizers of SUM. Consequently, the latter extended an invitation to the Group of Experts and ICE-CMM in Poland to organize a similar event next year.
More pictures from the session, as well as recordings of the presentations (access code is necessary - please contact the Secretary of the Group for more details), can be found on the page of the School of Underground Mining dedicated to our workshop (please click the yellow button – „Galeria zdjęć z sesji”).