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IEACCC/62

Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases - Emissions and Control from Coal

AUTHOR: Lesley L. Sloss
DATE: September 2002
PAGES: 51

ABSTRACT:
Methane and nitrous oxide are important greenhouse gases. this report assesses emissions of these gases from coal production and use on both a global and regional basis. Focusing on the coal mining industry, recent data on methane release and utilisation are collated for different countries. Emissions of methane from coal-fired power generation are negligible. coal is not a major source of nitrous oxide emissions. However, fluidised bed combustion systems give rise to higher nitrous oxide emissions than other power generating technologies. The factors influencing nitrous oxide emissions from FBC systems, including methods to reduce emissions, are summarised.

The capture of methane from coal mines not only reduces the greenhouse contribution but the methane can also be put to beneficial use such as in power generation. Market opportunities for such applications are reviewed.

In many cases greenhouse gas abatement costs are lower for methane and nitrous oxide than for CO2 alone. Hence coal mine methane projects can play a major role in cost effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions required under the Kyoto Protocol.