Ventilation Air Methane (VAM)

Geotech's automatic low-concentration VAM analysers are in their second year of operation in Asia measuring valuable methane in exhaust coalmine ventilation air.

This occurs as huge ventilation fans draw clean air through the mines to make the atmosphere breathable. Although the methane concentration is low, at 0.3-0.7 percent, the moved-air volume is huge. Potentially this can give a substantial and valuable methane yield which mine operators seek to extract to flare or for generating electricity to sell. Both activities convert methane to carbon dioxide and offer Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) income streams from marketable, certified emissions reductions (CEM), carbon credits.

To gain the potentially valuable returns from VAM, mine operators need to know how much methane they can harvest from each mine and if investment in each is worthwhile. This needs very sensitive, automatic, transportable and robust measurement and data-logging equipment to work on surface at coalmines, as does the Geotech VAM Analyser. It measures the level and variation in methane concentrations every few minutes and can be left in-situ permanently and/or moved to the next site to measure the methane. It stores up to 3000 reading, enough for 31 days at 15-minute intervals. These data can be acquired remotely at any time by polling a built-in GSM phone modem.

Geotech gas analysers are at the forefront of methane monitoring technology. Day-in-and-day-out Geotech fixed position, static remote gas analysis equipment monitors extracted gas concentrations in many other applications including landfill gas (c.65 percent methane) and biogas around the world. Geotech's portable VAM analysers log low methane percentages, flow and pressure in the exhaust air and log data. For permanent installation the Geotech CDM-approved AEMS (automated extraction monitoring system) is set to monitor VAM at c.0.3-0.7 percent. This gives long-term, remote, fully automated, self-purging and self-calibrating static analysis. Data stored locally are also Internet-modem copied to off-site servers and available for Internet inspection and download.

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