Consol's Enlow Fork to house landmark VAM project

CONSOL Energy and greenhouse gas abatement company Green Holdings Enlow will develop the largest US ventilation air methane emission abatement project at one of the nation’s top producing mines, Enlow Fork.
Consol's Enlow Fork to house landmark VAM project Consol's Enlow Fork to house landmark VAM project Consol's Enlow Fork to house landmark VAM project Consol's Enlow Fork to house landmark VAM project Consol's Enlow Fork to house landmark VAM project

Consol Energy's Enlow Fork face.

Donna Schmidt

The VAM abatement equipment will be placed at the 10 million ton per annum Pennsylvania operation to capture and destroy methane that would typically be released through normal ventilation at the complex.

The project, which the two companies expect to have operational by this year’s second half, was designed to reduce VAM emissions by the equivalent of 190,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. VAM emissions from coal mines around the world are about 300 million tonnes CO2e every year.

While Consol will provide the vent air fan, site and technical support for the project, Green Holdings will provide the capital, operate the unit and manage the sale of the emissions reduction credits.

"If the United States intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it will have to be addressed on a broad front dealing with many different sources of GHGs," Consol research and development vice-president Steven Winberg said.

"We already have a large coalbed methane production business that removes methane from coal seams before mining, producing a valuable fuel. With this agreement, we will deal with methane that is released from a coal seam during the mining process."

Consol anticipates that the project will move its small-scale VAM capture program to a commercial-scale effort that can be applied at any of its underground mines.

“In addition to the capture of methane from coal seams and from mine ventilation, the company has a number of other projects in which it is currently involved, including the capture of CO2 from high-pressure coal combustion equipment, the evaluation of CO2 storage in unmineable coal seams or in other deep geological formations,” the company noted.

The Enlow Fork project is the first of a collection of VAM abatement projects Green Holdings will take on in the US amid a growing market for carbon offsets.

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