The “energy transition“ is the term given to the process by which governments around the world – especially in Germany – are seeking to expand the use of renewables and promote research and technological innovation in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. One of these greenhouse gases is methane, which occurs naturally in hard coal mines and has long been associated there exclusively with firedamp explosions and disasters. This changed, in Germany at least, with the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) …

Read more

With my best regards // Mit freundlichem Glückauf
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen

ISSUE 05/2023 // FOCUS OF THIS ISSUE: Methane Emissions

Wind Power for the Transition at Coal Sites – Prospects and Problems

Wind power technology from the first to the fourth generation. Source: Kaldellis/Zafirakis 2012

Wind power is one of the politically prioritised options for the energy transition to climate neutrality at coal sites, although the use of “Carbon Capture and Storage” (CCS) technology during coal-burning operations is also a possible method for the reduction of CO2 emissions. Wind power is undergoing impressive technological and economic development, and its expansion enjoys a high priority in energy and climate policy, especially in Germany. Indeed, former coal sites often offer relatively favourable conditions for wind turbines. A more detailed examination reveals that the choice of locations for wind turbines requires quite …

Authors: Prof. Dr. Kai van de Loo, Julia Haske M. A., Forschungszentrum Nachbergbau (FZN), Technische Hochschule Georg Agricola (THGA), Bochum/Germany

Read more

Mine Gas as a Raw Material for Energy and Heat

In addition to CO2 , other gases contribute significantly to global warming. Source: Treibhausgase – lernen mit Serlo!

Politics, specialist science and the mining supply industry are equally bound to tradition and committed to the future. All stakeholders are now committed to the energy transition. The state government in North Rhine-Westphalia is pursuing the goal of climate-neutral electricity generation by 2050. To this end, renewable energies are to be expanded and further advanced. In their coalition agreement, the political parties CDU and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen have agreed on an ambitious agenda for implementing the energy transition. This includes, among other things, the expansion of photovoltaic and wind energy plants as well as …

Author: Dipl.-Ing. Peter von Hartlieb, Fachjournalist, Düsseldorf/Germany

Read more

EU-Wide Regulator for Methane Emissions Makes Sense, but not for the Decommissioned Coal Sector in Germany

Methane emissions by category. Source: UBA

The issue of methane (CH4) has been on the European Union’s agenda for a long time and is now being pushed in order to achieve the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 2050, on the one hand overzealously, but also with little knowledge about the origin and source of methane emissions in active and abandoned coal mines. The greenhouse gas potential of CH4 is 25 or 28 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2). Nevertheless, it does not have to be tracked down to the last crack of the earth, so to speak, as proposed by the Commission in its regulation. A look at the overall dimensions makes it clear …

Author: AdB Dipl.-Ing. Jürgen Ilse, Vorstandsvorsitzender Interessenverband Grubengas e. V. (IVG), Duisburg/Germany

Read more

Mine Gas – Climate Protection and Energy Industry Regulation

Schematic diagram of Saar mine gas pipeline network. Source: Iqony

Mine gas from abandoned mines is a special topic of European and national climate policy. It continues to threaten to escape from coal deposits that have not yet been affected by flooding. The initial support for the utilisation of mine gas for electricity generation via the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), which expires for most mine gas plants by the end of 2024, has always been an auxiliary construction, but one that has provided a reliable framework and clear incentives for collection, extraction and utilisation. From 2024 onwards, the continued operation of mine gas plants depends solely on the revenue prospects …

Authors: Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Brandt, Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Markus Dietzen, Dr. rer. nat. Frank Frauenstein, Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Schneider, ­Iqony GmbH, Essen/Germany

Read more

Release of Mine Gas at the Surface – Status of Safety Measures and Monitoring in the Course of the Mine Water Rise

Degassing pipe at Constantin 1 shaft. Photo: Bezirksregierung Arnsberg

In order to keep the mine workings in the German coal mining industry dry, the mine water had to be lifted from great depths and brought to the surface for centuries. With the phase out of hard coal mining in the Ruhr area and in Ibbenbüren in 2018, the original purpose of this mine water management was lost. Since then, the mine water has been rising in a controlled manner. This increase in mine water is associated with a profound change in the mine gas supply of the deposit and a change in the outgassing situation at the surface cannot be ruled out. By intensively monitoring the outgassing …

Authors: Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Imgrund, DMT GmbH & Co. KG, Essen, BR Dipl.-Ing. Martin Wissen, BD Dipl.-Ing. Ernst-Günter Weiß und OBVR Philipp Hensel M. Sc., Bezirksregierung Arnsberg, Abteilung Bergbau und Energie in NRW, Dortmund/Germany

Read more

Capturing and Utilisation of Landfill Gas

Model test for the development of a foaming process. Source: THGA, Otto 2014

From municipal landfills, methane-containing landfill gas is produced during the conversion of biogenic organic matter, which has a very high greenhouse gas potential – more than 28 times stronger than carbon dioxide (CO2) over 100 years. Based on decades of experience, it is extremely difficult to adequately capture this landfill gas in a heterogeneous heap (landfill body) – due, among other things, to the complex system, the physical structure/installation, different landfill gas-forming biological and biochemical degradation processes …

Authors: Prof. Dr. rer.nat. Frank Otto, Alexander Rudek M. Eng., ­Wissenschaftsbereich Georessourcen und Verfahrenstechnik, Technische Hochschule Georg Agricola (THGA), Bochum/Germany, Dipl.-Ing. Biotechn. Jürgen Forsting, Senior ­Consultant, CDM Smith Consult GmbH, Bochum/Germany, Dipl.-Chem. Jürgen Kanitz, GGT Kanitz & Partner GbR, Bochum/Germany

Read more

International Efforts for the Abatement of Methane Emissions in the Energy Sector

Natural and anthropogenic methane emission sources by sector in Mt CH4. Source: IEA (2023): Global Methane Tracker 2023. IEA, Paris.

The abatement of greenhouse gas emissions has long been a focal point of international climate policy as an important aspect in achieving or as the direct topic of climate targets. As a greenhouse gas with a relatively short life time in the atmosphere and strong global warming potential compared to carbon dioxide, methane emission abatement measures present an opportunity for short-term impact on reducing global warming. International efforts involve the collection, processing and providing of data, the support and advancement …

Authors: Maike Kroll M. Sc., Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Axel Preuße, Institut für Markscheidewesen, Bergschadenkunde und Geophysik im Bergbau (IfM), RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany

Read more