In Polish hard coal mines for many years there has been development of methane drainage and economic use of the methane in industrial heat and energy production. However, not only in Poland but worldwide, the huge problem is capturing and using Ventilation Air Methane (VAM). Coal mine methane released during exploitation to ventilation air is thinned. Created that way methane-aerial mixture (VAM) contains 0,1% to 0,75% pure methane. In Polish safety regulations for hard coal mines the 0,75% methane concentration is the upper limit in ventilation shaft.
In 2019 the amount of methane contained in VAM was around 506 mln m3 (963 m3/min) in all Polish hard coal mines and around 246 mln m3 (468 m3/min) only in JSW S.A. mines.
You want to know how many is 506 mln m3 of methane ? – it is almost 506 National Stadiums in Warsaw.
A lot of research around the world led to developing many technologies and devices which enable using methane contained in VAM as a fuel. However, the main problem is to ensure adequate mixture of methane and air that contains from 0,5% to 1,0% of methane. This methane concentration is essential for effective work of gas engines.
The main barrier to the efficient use of methane contained in VAM is low methane concentration around 0,01% to 0,30% in ventilation air in outlet shafts.
It is equally important to capture and use methane contained in ventilation air for economic, energy and financial reasons. JSW S.A. is currently looking for business partners to develop technology of using VAM. This kind of installation would be the first built in Europe based on methane from mine ventilation air.
Do you know:
Methane is gas whose greenhouse potential is 28 times greater than carbon dioxide. Using by JSW S.A. only 25% of VAM will lower methane emission by 62 mln m3 which is around 1,24 mln Mg CO2e.