Resources Science ›› 2020, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (2): 311-322.doi: 10.18402/resci.2020.02.10

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Methane fugitive emissions from coal mining and post-mining activities in China

MA Cuimei1, DAI Erfu2,3, LIU Yichen1, WANG Yahui2, WANG Fang4   

  1. 1. National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, Beijing, 100035, China
    2. Lhasa Plateau Ecosystem Research Station, Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2019-06-11 Revised:2019-12-24 Online:2020-02-25 Published:2020-04-25

Abstract:

Methane (CH4) is a major greenhouse gas (GHG) after carbon dioxide (CO2), and coal mining and post-mining activities are the largest sources of CH4 fugitive emissions in China. It is of great significance for China to prepare high-quality national GHG inventory and formulate targeted GHG emission control measures through the systematic study of coal’s fugitive emissions. Following 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, China’s 2010-2016 CH4 emissions from coal mining and post-mining activities were calculated by tier 2 method, that is, the country-specific emission factors, and other sources by tier 1 method, that is, the default emission factors. The trend and composition of CH4 emissions, and implied emission factors were analyzed. The results show that CH4 emissions from China’s coal mining and post-mining activities rose first and then fell, reaching a peak in 2013, and the largest emission category was coal mining of underground mine, up to 83% of the total emissions when CH4 recovery was not considered. The average annual increase of CH4 recovery was 17%, the recovery rate was 27% in 2016, and the highest net emissions after deducting the recycling amount occurred in 2011. There was a large difference between the country-specific implied emission factors, and the country-specific implied emission factor of China was at the lower limit of the default values of the guidelines. The calculation of CH4 fugitive emissions from coal mining and post-mining activities in China have reached advanced level in non-Annex I countries, but there were still some gaps in emission sources, calculation method, and country-specific emission factors compared with Annex I countries. It is recommended that in the future the integrity of the inventory should be improved, the collection of activity data should be strengthened, an in-depth research on characteristic emission factors should be conducted, and the management and technology level of CH4 recycle from coal should be improved.

Key words: underground coal mine, surface coal mine, coal mining, post-mining activities, GHG inventory, country-specific emission factor, fugitive emissions, methane