“Companies will require a wide range of tools and incentives to effectively reduce GHG emissions,” said Steve Winberg, vice president of research and development, CONSOL. “CONSOL Energy has committed to use as much of its coal mine methane resources as possible. This project will allow us to abate a dilute source of methane that has no commercial value and would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere.”
The project will employ regenerative thermal oxidation (RTO) technology to destroy the GHG emissions from the McElroy mine. RTO technology has been successfully deployed on a smaller scale at a coal mine in Alabama. “This project is a stepping stone to using this commercially available equipment at our other mines, reducing our overall methane emissions and potentially creating carbon offset credits,” Winberg said.
As a result of the emergence of trading markets for GHG emission reductions, voluntary initiatives like the McElroy VAM project can generate revenue from the sale of carbon offset credits. The value of these credits enables mine operators to secure capital from companies to pay for the RTO technology. The carbon offset credits generated from the VAM oxidation project at the McElroy mine will be registered with the Climate Action Reserve, a leading pre-compliance certification program in the United States that approved a protocol for coal mine methane projects in 2009.
Development efforts between CONSOL and Verdeo are actively under way. The project is expected to become operational in the second quarter of 2011.