Coal Mines: Maximizing Available Fuel Resources at Mining SitesCoal mine methane (CMM) gas is a byproduct of coal formations in subterranean coal seams, and is released before or during active coal mining. Coal mines emit methane at approximately 400 million metric tons (28 billion cubic meters) of carbon dioxide annually – equivalent to the consumption of 818 million barrels of oil or the carbon dioxide emissions of 64 million passenger cars.
Caterpillar has developed generator sets specifically for use with CMM gas. Implementing methods to use this gas as an alternative fuel can help:
- Improve mine safety
- Mitigate carbon dioxide release into the atmosphere
- Reduce electricity costs
- Generate revenue
- Large project development and design expertise
- Logistical and technical installation support
- On-site maintenance
How It Works
CMM emissions can be significantly decreased through the recovery and utilization of drained gas. The CMM is sequestered and used for fuel in reciprocating gas engine generator sets. This mature and proven technology is highly effective for gas mitigation and power generation.
When CMM is removed from the ground, it is held in large tanks and pretreated for use in gas engines. Pretreatment includes filtering for dust and particles, drying the gas and sending it through a pressure-regulated fuel train to on-site generator sets.
Cat CMM gensets provide:
- Customized engine control systems to handle regular fluctuations in gas methane content
- A fuel system designed to accept very low-pressure gas, typical of a coal mine ventilation system
Learn more about Coal Mine Methane in our Interactive Video