· determine the amount of methane emitted from each mine,
· study the end uses for captured methane,
· evaluate different methane-capture technologies, and
· estimate the costs and profits of a methane recovery and use program.
Mining coal allows methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, to escape into the atmosphere. In addition, methane is the primary constituent of natural gas and an important energy source.
The U.S. and China work collaboratively to promote the recovery of coal mine methane through the Methane to Markets partnership, the U.S. EPA's Coalbed Methane Outreach Program, the China Coalbed MethaneClearinghouse, the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate and the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue.
Methane to Markets, launched in 2004, is a public/private partnership that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by promoting the cost-effective,near-term recovery and use of methane, while providing clean energy to markets around the world. China and the U.S. were two of the foundingmembers of the partnership, which has grown to include 27 countries and more than many private sector entities, financial institutions, nongovernmental agencies and other organizations. More information on Methane to Markets projects and Information on Coalbed Methane Outreach Program.