Quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from coal fires using airborne and ground-based methods

International Journal of Coal Geology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Coal fires occur in all coal-bearing regions of the world and number, conservatively, in the thousands. These fires emit a variety of compounds including greenhouse gases. However, the magnitude of the contribution of combustion gases from coal fires to the environment is highly uncertain, because adequate data and methods for assessing emissions are lacking. This study demonstrates the ability to estimate CO2 and CH4 emissions for the Welch Ranch coal fire, Powder River Basin, Wyoming, USA, using two independent methods: (a) heat flux calculated from aerial thermal infrared imaging (3.7–4.4 t d−1 of CO2 equivalent emissions) and (b) direct, ground-based measurements (7.3–9.5 t d−1 of CO2 equivalent emissions). Both approaches offer the potential for conducting inventories of coal fires to assess their gas emissions and to evaluate and prioritize fires for mitigation.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from coal fires using airborne and ground-based methods
Series title International Journal of Coal Geology
DOI 10.1016/j.coal.2011.09.003
Volume 88
Issue 2-3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
Description 5 p.
First page 147
Last page 151