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China builds world's largest coal mine waste gas recovering project
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China builds world's largest coal mine waste gas recovering project

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The world's largest facility to turn excess methane gas from coal mines into electricity has been completed in north China's Shanxi Province.

The facility was completed by the Lu'an Group, which owns the Gaohe Coal Mine in the coal rich province. The company announced it would soon start operating the generator with a capacity of 30 megawatts, capable of utilizing 99 percent of methane gas discharged from the coal mine.

The poisonous gas is a common emission during underground mining. Normally, mines will liquify the gas into methyl alcohol if it has a concentration higher than 30 percent, for concentrations between 10 percent and 20 percent it is captured and used to fuel internal combustion engines.

However, methane concentrations lower than 10 percent, which qualifies 81 percent of the gas released during mining, can not be consumed through direct combustion.

Jia Jian, deputy head of the Methane Gas Research Institute of the company, said the new technology has helped tackle the problem of how to dispose of the waste.

He said the project can decompose the gas into carbon dioxide and water under temperatures more than 950 Celsius, and use the heat and steam for power generation.

He said by recovering and utilizing the gas, the project can help reduce 1.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gases and produce 200 million kwh of electricity a year.

China's coal mines produce more than 10 billion cubic meters of low-concentration methane gas each year, which causes greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.











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