Drainage and utilization of Chinese coal mine methane with a coal–methane co-exploitation model: Analysis and projections
Coal mine methane (CMM) released during coal mining attributes to unsafe working conditions and environmental impact. China, the largest coal producer in the world, is facing problems associated with CMM such as fatal gas accidents and intense greenhouse gas emission along the path to deep mining. Complicated geological conditions featured with low permeability, high gas pressure and gas content of Chinese coal seams have been hindering the coal extraction. To solve these problems, a model of coal–methane co-exploitation is proposed. This model realizes the extraction of two resources with safety ensured and has been successfully applied in Huainan coalfield, China. The current situation of drainage and utilization of CMM in China are diagnosed. Connections between the coal production, methane emissions, drainage and utilization are analyzed. Estimations of future coal production, methane emissions, drainage and utilization are made in a co-exploitation based scenario. The emitted, drained and utilized CMM are projected to reach 26.6, 13.3 and 9.3 billion m3, respectively by adapting the assumption of 3800 million metric tons of coal production by 2020.
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