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The Global Methane Initiative Exit EPA is an international initiative that advances cost-effective, near-term methane recovery and use as a clean energy source.

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Currently the world's largest coal producer and consumer, China produced 949.1 million metric tons of underground coal in 2000. China's energy needs are met primarily by coal; it consumes virtually all of the coal it produces. China has large reserves of gassy, high-rank coal, and its coalbed methane (CBM) re-sources are estimated to be twice those of the U.S.

China also leads the world in overall coal mine methane (CMM) emissions, emitting 172 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents from coal mining activities in 2000. CMM emissions are projected to increase dramatically in the next several decades. Recent legislation required that all gassy mines practice methane drainage. About 85 to 90 percent of methane released to the atmosphere from coal mining in China originates in underground mines. All of China's state-owned coal mines (SOCMs) employ longwall or other caving methods of mining that release gas into adjacent strata.

China has a long history of CMM recovery. Underground methane drainage began in China in the 1950s, and surface CMM development began in the 1990s. By 2002, the China Coal Information Institute (CCII) reported that 196 coal mines in China had drainage systems in place. Total methane drainage in 2002 was 1.5 billion cubic meters; of this amount, approximately 500 million cubic meters were recovered and used, mostly as boiler fuel and town gas.


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