Open Access Peer-reviewed

Effective Recovery of Methane from Coal Mine Methane Gas by Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption: A Pilot Scale Case Study

Andrzej Olajossy
Department of Mining and Geoengineering, AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland
Chemical Engineering and Science. 2013, 1(4), 46-54. DOI: 10.12691/ces-1-4-1
Published online: August 25, 2017


The course and results of experimental studies of efficient methane separation from mining gases mixture, performed at a pilot plant, are presented in the paper. It was indicated and justified that appropriate modifications should be realized in the vacuum pressure swing adsorption (VPSA) method along with (PSA) method for improving of efficient technology of methane recovery from coal mine methane gas. Those studies were preceded by experiments at laboratory scale. The results of experiments at pilot scale created bases for preliminary assumptions for the planned project of industrial scale installation. The pilot plant was made in the Coal Mine Pniówek J.S.W. S.A., Silesian Basin, Poland, where in the raw gas from drainage methane gas from coal beds are: on average about 53 vol% CH4, as well as nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. On the basis of experimentally established optimum work conditions of the pilot plant the gas was enriched forming the methane-rich gas 96 vol% CH4. Then the efficiency of methane separation reached 90-92% while the re-circulated methane to feed gas ratio changed within q=1.0 – 1.2. High-methane gas of such good quality, obtained at so high recovery efficiency, can be introduced to the high-methane gas network.


vacuum pressure swing adsorption, coal mine gas, methane separation, pilot plant
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