This week, we’re highlighting Dr. Hua Guo’s case study on Underground Coal Mine Methane (CMM) Capture and Emission Reduction. Dr. Guo, Coal Mining Research Director for Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), collaborated with staff from Glencore International’s (formerly Xstrata) Bulga Underground Coal Operation outside of Sydney. Studying the Blakefield South Mine, the project team worked to develop a holistic and optimal approach of planning, design and operational control of CMM drainage and ventilation systems to maximize methane capture and minimize fugitive emissions in gassy and multiple seam conditions.
After extensively characterizing the mine complex’ hydrogeology and monitoring emissions, the project team used CSIRO’s COSFLOW model, combined with calibrated field studies, to develop a three-dimensional analysis of the mine strata, hydrology and gas to assess key parameters for the site’s gas drainage, and design an optimal gas drainage plan for the site.
The project team implemented a trial demonstration in a longwall mine including a goaf gas drainage system consisting of underground horizontal holes in the roof and floor seams. The trial resulted in improved gas capture performance, increased drainage efficiency, improved mine safety and coal productivity, and increased methane capture and emission reductions. To learn more about this innovative project, see the above presentation link.
The PAF incentivizes climate-friendly project developers to capture the methane byproduct by providing a price guarantee for selling carbon credits via a tradeable put option. The purchase of put options enables project developers to hedge the risk of low carbon credit prices that could make the methane capture project unviable. For this pay-for-performance tool, the World Bank will pay project developers only after independent auditors have verified the emission reductions.
Like the World Bank’s first PAF auction held last year, the auction conducted last week targeted eligible landfill, agriculture, and wastewater methane capture projects. Unlike the first auction where participants bid on a carbon credit strike price, the second auction used a ‘forward format’ that fixed the strike price at $3.50/credit while participants bid on the premium price. The premium price paid per carbon credit allows option holders the right to sell credits back to the PAF at $3.50 per credit before 2020. For a more detailed description on how the first and second auctions worked, see these helpful videos.
Twenty-one companies from 12 countries participated in the second auction on $20 million of climate funds. After 10 auction rounds, 9 methane project developers walked away with put options for up to 5.7 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emission reductions at a premium price of $1.41 per ton of CO2e. Upon purchasing the put options, auction winners may either sell eligible emission reductions to the PAF, trade the contracts on the secondary market, or let the contracts expire.
GMI is proud to have informed the development of the PAF mechanism, and welcomed its presence on the Global Methane Forum finance panel (see presentation). We look forward to the third auction to take place this Fall.
Thanks to everyone who attended the Global Methane Forum (GMF). Your participation helped make the Forum one of the Global Methane Initiative’s (GMI’s) most successful events in its history. And now we want to know what we did right and what could have been better.
If you were among the more than 500 people representing 62 countries who attended the Forum and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s (CCAC’s) Science Policy Dialogue, this is your last chance to fill out the GMF attendee survey! The survey will remain open through Wednesday, 25 May 2016.
Now that GMI has been re-chartered for another five years, your feedback and continued participation will help to make the Initiative as effective in the next decade as it was in the previous one!
The meeting convened all the major players dedicated to methane mitigation in the oil & gas sector through policy development and technology demonstration and deployment. GAIL generously shared preliminary results from its testing of an innovative retrofit technology designed to cost-effectively capture methane emissions from wet seal centrifugal compressors. Additionally, some of the participating oil and gas production companies expressed interest in joining CCAC’s Oil & Gas Methane Partnership.
All in all, GMI’s Oil & Gas technical team remains impressed by India’s sustained commitment to methane reductions in the oil & gas sector, and looks forward to future collaborations with GMI stakeholders. Special thanks goes to Mr. S.P. Garg, GAIL’s General Manager, and Mr. Arvind Namdeo, GAIL’s Deputy General Manager for Health Safety, and Environment, for their leadership in organizing and convening the very successful event!
Dr. Bryan Willson, Program Manager for ARPA-E’s Methane Observation Network Technology to Obtain Reductions (MONITOR) Program highlighted ongoing projects working to provide cutting edge leak detection technologies to not only cost effectively locate leaks, but also quantify leaks. Dr. Willson’s presentation highlighted 11 ongoing projects that received awards from ARPA-E: six fixed systems, four mobile systems, and one enabling system. The technologies roughly break down into four categories: Point-Sensing, Aerial, Imaging, and Enabling Technologies. Below is a brief introduction and links for more information.
Partners: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rice University
Aeris’ Laser Spectrometer is sensitive to leaks smaller than one part per billion per second, exceeding detection limits of similar technologies.
LI-COR – Laser Spectroscopic Point Sensor Partners: Colorado State University, Gener8
LI-COR’s Laser Spectroscopic Point Sensor is suitable for continuous or intermittent monitoring and has both stationary and mobile applications.
IBM – Low-Cost On-Chip Optical Sensor Partners: Princeton University, Harvard University, Southwestern Energy
IBM’s sensor system communicates in real time with weather information and other cloud-based data to analyze, detect, and localize leaks.
Partners: RTI International
The mobile miniature mass spectrometer features field emission cathodes just a few microns across. The microfabricated, coded apertures contain advanced search/location algorithms for optimum sampling. It can detect methane as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
PARC (a Xerox Company) – Printed Carbon Nanotube Sensors Partners: US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and British Petroleum (BP)
PARC’s Printed Carbon Nanotube Sensors are easy to scale up while still being low-cost (less than $350 per year per site), and can detect leaks at one part per million within a meter.
University of Colorado (Boulder) – Frequency Comb-based Methane Sensing Partners: US National Institute for Standards and Tracking (NIST), US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The novel design is simplified to reduce the cost of dual comb spectroscopy.
General Electric (GE) – Microstructured Optical Fiber Partners: Virginia Polytechnic University (Virginia Tech)
GE’s optical fiber methane sensors have broad applications throughout the oil and gas industry, especially for larger-scale infrastructure.
Physical Sciences, Inc. (PSI) – UAV-based Laser Spectroscopy Partners: Health Consultants, ThorLabs, Princeton University, the University of Houston, Cascodium
Mounted on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the device can operate in two modes: continuous monitoring to detect/quantify leaks with alarm notification and an active search to pinpoint them.
Bridger Photonics, Inc. – Mobile LiDAR Sensors
The drone-mounted LiDAR rapidly produces three-dimensional topographic maps and detect leaks at rates as low as one gram per minute.
Rebellion Photonics – Portable Imaging Spectrometer
A miniature version of Rebellion’s Gas Cloud Imager (GCI), the long-wave camera is the size of soda can and can be incorporated into personal protective equipment.
ThorLabs – Tunable Mid-infrared Laser Partners: Praevium Research, Rice University
The innovative mid-IR laser is applicable not only for methane detection but across many applications at a fraction of the cost of similar laser sensors.
All of the ARPA-E projects will be field-testing these incredible new technologies between now and 2018, and you can keep track of each project’s progress at arpa-e.energy.gov! You can find Dr. Willson’s presentation as well as other presentations from the Global Methane Forum at globalmethane.org/forum/presentations.html.