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                                                                            Application Note:
                             Monitoring Coal Mine Methane (CMM) Emissions

Problem
Methane gas (CH4) is the second most important greenhouse gas (GHG) after carbon dioxide (CO2). Methane is more than 25 times more potent than CO2 over a 100-year time period which has caused environmental concerns in recent years.

Methane emissions from coal occur in several forms:

(CBM) – Coalbed Methane: Methane that is released in coal seams.
(CMM) – Coal Mine Methane: Methane from surface or underground coal mines that is released to the atmosphere or captured in advance of, during, or following physical coal mining activities. CMM occurs from three primary sources:

  • Degasification systems at active underground mines. Also commonly referred to as drainage systems.

  • Ventilation air methane (VAM). This refers to the very dilute methane that is released from underground mine ventilation shafts.

  • Abandoned mine methane (AMM). Closed mines that produce emissions from vents, pipes and boreholes

EPA Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP)
As part of the U.S. Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP), actual data on methane emissions from underground coal mines was collected for the first time in 2011 and reported to U.S. EPA in September 2012. The data collected will help inform stakeholders, particularly the underground coal mining industry, of CMM emission sources on public and private lands. The detailed data will also shed light on the specific sources of methane from active underground coal mines and highlight project opportunities for the U.S. coal industry.

The GHGRP Reporting Rule allows mines to use one of two approaches to calculating emissions. Mines may choose to measure flow rates and emission concentrations directly to calculate total emissions. Mines may also choose to use the air sampling results from the quarterly inspections conducted by Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). MSHA regulates in-mine concentrations of ventilation air using well-defined procedures to ensure that the methane is well below explosive levels. Mines can access that data for use in calculating overall emissions.

Issues with GHGRP Data Collection
  • Limited data with quarterly data collection results in limited understanding of overall methane emissions inventory.
  • Current high cost associated with current data collection methods and data collection accuracy.
  • Facilities that have not reported data and may have emissions above the reporting threshold.
  • Facilities misunderstood or incorrectly completed the reporting forms or did not report at all
  • Inconsistent measurement techniques between facilities.
  • Mines may have adjusted their data using their actual operating schedule and production rates throughout each quarter.
Better Solutions for Monitoring Emissions
Monitoring methane emissions from CMM sources is expensive, relies heavily on manpower, is prone to error, and provides limited data to the end user.

With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) cost effective wireless continuous monitoring solutions are now a reality. These systems provide sound scientific data through long-term baseline remote monitoring and real-time analysis. Remote monitoring system transmits real-time data over various wireless telemetry options to a cloud based dashboard allowing experts to analyze problems and abnormal situations. These man portable systems include integrated batteries and solar charging providing long-term deployments in remote locations saving on labor intensive manual data sampling and costly travel. As a result better data collection and measurement will improve our understanding of methane sources and trends, and enable more effective management of opportunities to reduce methane emissions.


RemoteMonitor CH4

RemoteMonitor CH4 Solution
The RemoteMonitor™ CH4 is a cost effective solution for real-time continuous methane gas monitoring. Specifically designed for deployments in remote areas without power or wired Internet over long periods. Methane data is transmitted in real-time over Cellular, WiFi, or Satellite networks to a Cloud Dashboard. Integrated battery and solar charging allows for long term field deployments.

The RemoteMonitor™ CH4records and transmits methane, barometric pressure, and system data in real-time to a web based cloud server which allows instant access to the data via a standard web browser.

Continuous monitoring is vital for accurate quantification and overall understanding of emissions. Manual sampling has been the primary method for measurement. It is difficult to capture the expected fluctuation in methane concentration with this method; therefore it imposes a serious limitation on accurate quantification.
 

Value of Real-Time Data
Data from the
RemoteMonitor™ CH4 is captured and transmitted to the cloud in real-time creating historic graphs for easy viewing. Methane, atmospheric, and system health data are collected on intervals from 10-minutes to once a day. The cloud portal allows for easy management of devices deployed in the field.

Importance of Atmospheric Data Collection

It is important for the real-time data collection device to capture atmospheric data to predict methane emissions. The rate of methane emissions will be strongly influenced by weather conditions. When barometric pressure is falling methane gas will tend to be forced out of the surrounding formations a short time period as new pressure balances are established.

This variability in data is not accounted for with current quarterly single point data collection methods.


 

Real-Time Alarms


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Value Proposition
Monitoring methane emissions from CMM sources is expensive, relies heavily on manpower, is prone to error, and provides limited data to the end user. With the advent of IoT cost effective wireless continuous monitoring solutions are now a reality.

  • Portable systems for easy deployment in remote locations.

  • Saving on labor intensive manual data sampling and costly travel.

  • Provides sound scientific data through long-term baseline remote monitoring and real-time analysis.

  • Improve understanding of methane sources and trends, and enable more effective management of opportunities to reduce methane emissions.






 




 


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Remote Security Cameras & Environmental Monitoring Systems
Phone: 724-733-0970   Fax: 724-733-0860   Email: sales@pixcontroller.com
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