Blog icon

The challenge

Managing hazardous waste

Methane, released from coal during mining, is highly flammable and a major safety hazard at underground mines. For this reason the air in the underground mine must be drained and vented to the surface. Methane is also a potent greenhouse gas.

The VAMCAT unit converts methane from coal mining into electricity using a novel turbine system.

In Australia these fugitive emissions account for 5 per cent of the nation's total greenhouse gas emissions.

Our response

Power generation fuelled by waste gases

We developed VAMCAT technology which uses a novel catalytic combustion gas turbine system to oxidise methane to carbon dioxide and water, generating electricity from an otherwise explosive waste product.

In collaboration with Shanghai Jiaotong University, Jiangjin Turbo Machinery Company and Huainan Coal Mining Group we created a demonstration unit under the Australian Government's Bilateral Climate Change Partnerships Program. It was also supported by an Australia–China grant under the Australian Government International Science Linkage Program.

The results

VAMCAT technology trialled in China

We created a 25kWe power generator demonstration unit and trialed it at an underground coal mine of Huainan Coal Mining Group in China in November 2011. China is the largest potential user of the technology, accounting for 45 per cent of ventilation air methane emissions. The demonstration unit operated with about 0.8 per cent methane in the air, which is significantly lower than conventional methane gas turbines.

Do business with us to help your organisation thrive

We partner with small and large companies, government and industry in Australia and around the world.

Contact us now to start doing business

Contact us

Find out how we can help you and your business. Get in touch using the form below and our experts will get in contact soon!

CSIRO will handle your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and our Privacy Policy.

First name must be filled in

Surname must be filled in

I am representing *

Please choose an option

Please provide a subject for the enquriy

0 / 100

We'll need to know what you want to contact us about so we can give you an answer

0 / 1900

You shouldn't be able to see this field. Please try again and leave the field blank.