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Coal Bed Methane extraction (CBM) is the process for the recovery of Methane from un-mined coal seams. This includes the recovery of methane prior to mining taking place. The recovery of methane from seams in which the coal will remain unmined described as Coal Bed Methane (CBM).
The two primary reasons for the extraction of CBM:
• It may be necessary to drain the seam of as much methane as possible before mining takes place. This reduces the risk of explosion and mitigates methane emissions to the atmosphere once the process of extracting the coal begins.
• The methane may be recovered for its energy production potential, regardless of whether the coal will actually be extracted. In recent years, international studies have determined that 30-40% of all coal mines produce gas that can be effectively used for power generation with gas engines. The main component of the primary coal seam gas is methane in a concentration of 90-95 % the gas develops during the geochemical conversion of organic substances to coal (carbonization).