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Methane Emissions from Coal

AUTHOR: Irene Smith and Lesley Sloss
DATE: November 1992

The latest in the series of Perspectives from IEA Coal Research assesses methods for evaluating methane emissions from coal.

Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. There are still many uncertainties in quantifying the emissions and effects of methane. Emissions of methane from coal may arise during coal production, storage, preparation and use. Various estimates of methane emissions from coal use are reviewed critically in this report. It is concluded that estimates need to be based on accurate measurements which are highly site-specific. Extrapolations to derive global emissions of methane from coal may currently be regarded as no more than educated guesses.