Why is coal bed methane controversial?

The controversy surrounding coal bed methane extraction has to do with the use of water during the process and its impact on global climate change. Coal bed methane exploration involves pumping large volumes of water out of coal seams to reduce the hydrostatic pressure and liberate the gas.

How is coal bed methane extraction?

What is Coalbed Methane Extraction? Coalbeds are a source of unconventional gas. CBM is naturally created during the geologic process of converting plant material to coal (coalification). To extract the methane, CBM operators drill wells into coal seams and pump out ground water (produced water or CBM wastewater).

Is coal bed methane natural gas?

When the coal and methane conversion process occurs such that the coal is saturated with water and methane is trapped within the coal, the result is “coal bed methane.” Coal bed methane (CBM) is the same compound as natural gas, just derived from a different geologic situation.

Where is coal bed methane found?

coal seams

Why is coal seam gas so controversial?

Coal seam gas (CSG) is a polarising issue in some communities. Proponents argue that CSG is a vital energy resource, necessary for continued gas supply. Opponents claim that CSG could have serious environmental and social impacts.

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How do you extract methane?

Methane may be extracted by drilling wells into the coal seam. The goal is to decrease the water pressure by pumping water from the well. The decrease in pressure allows methane to desorb from the coal and flow as a gas up the well to the surface. Methane is then compressed and piped to market.

Why is methane called sweet gas?

It is called ‘sweet gas’ because it does not contain any hydrogen sulphide. The gas often contains up to a few percent of carbon dioxide. In the past, coalbed methane was often the cause of numerous explosions in underground mines.

Does burning coal release methane?

This means the more natural gas is used, in place of coal, to generate electricity or instead of gasoline to fuel cars, trucks and buses, the less greenhouse gas emissions and smog related pollutants are produced. However, methane that is released into the atmosphere before it is burned is harmful to the environment.

Is methane a liquid or gas?

At room temperature and standard pressure, methane is a colorless, odorless gas. The familiar smell of natural gas as used in homes is achieved by the addition of an odorant, usually blends containing tert-butylthiol, as a safety measure.

How do you extract gas from coal?

The process involves pumping oxygen and steam through a small borehole into the coal seam to produce a small and controlled combustion. Unlike coal-bed methane, therefore, the actual coal is converted from a solid state into gas.

What is fire ice?

Fiery Ice. Methane hydrate is often called “fiery ice.” Methane hydrate looks like an ice, and starts burning when an open flame is brought close to it; hence the name. Only water is left after combustion. It is a strange substance.

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Can Methane be extracted from the atmosphere?

This methane joins methane from other sources, such as landfills, livestock and exploitation of fossil fuels. The main mechanism for removal of methane from the earth’s atmosphere is oxidation within the troposphere by the hydroxyl radical (OH).

How is coal formed?

Coal is formed when dead plant matter decays into peat and is converted into coal by the heat and pressure of deep burial over millions of years.

Is coal seam gas fracking?

In some cases hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, is used to extract coal seam gas. Hydraulic fracturing is the process of injecting fluid under high pressure into a coal seam to widen existing fractures and create new ones.

Is coal seam gas the same as natural gas?

What is coal seam gas (CSG)? Coal seam gas, or coal bed methane (CBM, is a form of natural gas, typically extracted from coal seams at depths of 300-1000 metres.

What does fracking mean?

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

Coal mine