Vessels Coal Gas currently operates a coal mine methane recovery facility on Bethlehem Energy Slope Mine 33, a coal property in Cambria County owned by a unit of Arcelor Mittal. Pipeline injection of mine gas emissions came on production in May of 2008. Electrical generation began December 2010. As of January 1, 2014, the plant has sold over 407,700 mcf of natural gas product into the Peoples Natural Gas local distribution company pipeline. As of January 1st, 2015, the plant generated over 152,910 Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) of Carbon Emission Reductions (CERs). Since 2011 we have generated aproximately 1000 REC's through electrical generation.
North Fork Energy LLC generates carbon offsets by destroying excess methane gas that is vented from the Elk Creek coal mine. This excess gas is pumped through a thermal oxidizer, burning the methane before it gets to the atmosphere.
Methane Oxidation (Combustion) Reduces Green House Gas Emissions
CH4(methane) + 2O2(oxygen) →(exothermic reaction) CO2(carbon dioxide) + 2H2O(water) + ∆(heat)
Thermal Oxidizer has a combustion capacity of 3,500,000 cubic feet of methane (CH4), and a maximum capacity to avoid about 5,000 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) equivalent per day.
3MW LLC is a company operated by Vessels Coal Gas that has installed electrical generation capacity to deliver 3 megawatts of electricity to Holy Cross Energy. To our knowledge the facility will be the first in the USA west of the Mississippi to generate electricity from methane that is venting from an active coal mine. The gas normally has a methane concentration of around 30%-40%. This gas is too contaminated with nitrogen to be shipped into a natural gas pipeline were one present at the mine (there is no pipeline for many miles). Electric generation is the only means the energy value of this dilute methane gas can be put to beneficial use while at the same time reducing green house gas emissions. Holy Cross provided a market for the electricity and Aspen Skiing Company provided the majority of the financial resources necessary to build the power station. Oxbow Mining LLC, Gunnison Energy and Vessels Coal Gas contributed rights to the methane used by 3MW LLC to generate electricity.
3 MW is an electrical generation project that produces three mega watts of electricity from gas venting from the Elk Creek mine and the adjacent Sanborn Creek mine. This project began generating electricity in 2012.
Aspen Ski Company's video of the commissioning ceremony of the 3MW electric generation facility.
Digital copy of the tour handout of the 3MW electric generation facility.
Research paper by Amy Crowfoot on Elk Creek Generator Project.
Methane to electricity: Global Methane Expo Coal Technical Session.