Why in news?
Coal’s Ministry has asked Coal India Limited (CIL) to produce 2 MMSCBs per day of coalbed methane (CBM) gas in the next two or three years.
What does CBM consist of?
- CBM is an unconventional natural gas form in coal deposits and carbon seam formed during the gasification process.
- India has the fifth largest proven coal reserves in the world.
- The vast majority of the best prospective areas for CBM development are in eastern India, situated in DamodarKoel valley and Son valley.
- CBM projects exist in Raniganj South, Raniganj East and Raniganj North areas in the Raniganj coalfield, the Parbatpur block in Jharia coalfield and the East and west Bokaro coalfields.
Applications- Generation of power, Auto-fuel compressed gas (CNG), as nitrogen feedstock, Production of cement, methane and steel.
- Methane is a CBM mining greenhouse gas. The global carbon mining methane emissions are estimated to account for about 8% of total global emissions of methane.
- Disruption of drilled lands and their effect on habitats of wildlife leads to damage of ecosystems.
- Production behaviour in CBM at an early stage of recovery is complex and difficult to predict.
- Another issue is the possible impact on downstream water sources of water of CBM development.
- High-salinated water to be disposed of in order to release the methane is a risk because it could have adverse effects on freshwater ecosystems.