• Overview
  • United States
  • International


The senior staff at RCE have over 15 years of experience working with coal mine methane (CMM) recovery and use projects, and are internationally recognized authorities on CMM projects. RCE provides expert technical services for CMM project identification, methane resource assessment, economic and technical feasibility studies, GHG registry qualification & registration, and third-party project validation & verification. RCE participates in all North American greenhouse gas (GHG) markets, and from 2006-2014 was directly involved in the development of CMM offset project protocols for international programs such as the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Chicago Climate Exchange, Verified Carbon Standard, and California’s Air Resources Board cap and trade program.

U.S. EPA Coalbed Methane Outreach Program

U.S. EPA Climate Change Program

Senior staff at RCE have performed work for the U.S. EPA’s Climate Change Program since 1998, working directly with the U.S. EPA’s Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP) to conduct project feasibility and case studies (Domestic and International), energy market studies, coal industry outreach, technology reviews, country-wide methane emissions inventories, and legal and regulatory analyses. Also, RCE currently develops the U.S. EPA’s annual Coal Emissions Inventory for all U.S. coal mines, and provides technical assistance for the U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program for Subpart FF (Coal Mines) reporting.

Case Study: Tai XI Mining Group CMM Utilization Feasibility Study (China)

RCE completed this study in 2011 to address the possibility of methane capture from a group of small, closely spaced Anthracite mines in Western Inner Mongolia.  These mines were due to be consolidated, increasing production. Very high methane emissions coupled with difficult mining conditions and numerous mined seams presented the challenge of profitably extracting the coal. The feasibility study focused on methane capture and utilization providing power and reducing the expected increase in methane emissions from the increased mining rate.  See more information about the study here.


Coal Mine Methane Developments (United States)

This 2013 paper covers U.S. coal mine methane emissions, U.S. CMM utilization and destruction projects, Federal policies, and State incentives for CMM capture and utilization. 2011 CMM data from the U.S. Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program Subpart FF was analyzed and compared with previous U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory estimates. Voluntary carbon markets and other State-based CMM incentives are also discussed. See more information about the paper here.

United States

United States Coal Mines

RCE provides technical assistance to CMM project developers and coal mine companies at active underground coal mines, large surface mines in the Powder River Basin, and abandoned underground coal mines. RCE’s services range from accurate assessments of the recoverable methane resources to qualifying projects for carbon credits by preparing project design documents and monitoring plans. In addition, RCE has extensive experience working with geologists and coal mine ventilation engineers assessing methane drainage options at active and abandoned underground coal mines. RCE is also knowledgeable about in-mine horizontal drilling techniques, vertical gob well placement, surface directional drilling, and pre-mining methane drainage well spacing.

Case Study: Vessels Coal Gas ARB Projects

RCE is working with Vessels Coal Gas to qualify new and existing CMM capture and utilization projects for the California Air Resources Board Cap and Trade Program. The projects include methane utilization/destruction from electric power generation, natural gas pipeline sales, and flaring.


Case Study: Peabody Energy NARM Project

RCE worked with Peabody Natural Gas and the Verified Carbon Standard to establish a protocol by which pre-draining methane from behind the high wall can be quantified as emission reductions from an active surface mine. Capturing and utilizing this gas prior to its being emitted to the atmosphere provides both revenue and GHG emission reductions at the mine.


Case Study: AMM Resource Assessment – Corinth Project

RCE worked with DTE Energy to determine the methane reserves at the complex of 8 abandoned mines in the Illinois coal basin. This was done through an innovative use of a computational fluid dynamics simulator. Individual mines were modeled and their production forecasted. Minor adjustments to the model through time resulted in very good matches to historical production and hence high confidence forecasts. See more information about the AMM Resource Assessment here.


International Coal Mines

international-Coal-MineRCE has provided technical assistance to CMM project developers and coal mines in China, India, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and Kazakhstan. RCE has also provided greenhouse gas project verification and assurance services for coal mine methane recovery & use projects in China, Russia, and Czech Republic. In addition, RCE has participated in numerous Global Methane Initiative events, authoring reports and giving presentations on the various aspects of the CMM industry. Topics include methane gas drainage techniques, project profiles, developing methane inventories for abandoned mines, and carbon market incentives.

Case study: Pre-feasibility Study for Coal Mine Methane Drainage and Utilization at Alardinskaya and Uskovskaya Coal Mines (Kuzbass Coal Basin, Russian Federation)

These two gassy mines in the Kuzbass coal basin were investigated to determine if improvements to the current methane drainage system could be made that would result in a viable methane capture and utilization project at the mine site.


Case study: Preliminary Feasibility Study for Coal Mine Methane Drainage and Utilization at the Kozlu Coal Mine (Zonguldak, Turkey)

This high methane content, low permeability underground mine on the Black Sea has significant outburst problems. The purpose of this study was to determine if modification of the current methane pre-drainage techniques could reduce the threat of dangerous outbursts and also provide enough gas for a methane utilization project. See the study here.


Casestudy: Methane Emissions from Abandoned Coal Mines, Report (Shanxi Province, China)

This report’s purpose is to facilitate identification and development of abandoned mine methane projects, enhance knowledge of abandoned mine methane emissions, and develop methodologies to forecast emissions. See more information about the report here.  See more information about the corresponding presentation here.