From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Coalbed Methane
Mains level : Coalbed Methane and its utility
India has the fifth-largest coal reserves in the world, and CBM has been looked at as a clean alternative fuel with significant prospects.
Coalbed Methane (CBM)
- CBM, like shale gas, is extracted from what are known as unconventional gas reservoirs — where gas is extracted directly from the rock that is the source of the gas (shale in case of shale gas and coal in case of CBM).
- The methane is held underground within the coal and is extracted by drilling into the coal seam and removing the groundwater.
- The resulting drop in pressure causes the methane to be released from the coal.
Uses of CBM
CBM can be used for power generation, as compressed natural gas (CNG) auto fuel, as feedstock for fertilisers, industrial uses such as in cement production, rolling mills, steel plants, and for methanol production.
Reserves in India
- The country’s coal and CBM reserves are found in 12 states of India, with the Gondwana sediments of eastern India holding the bulk.
- The Damodar Koel valley and Son valley are prospective areas for CBM development, with CBM projects existing in Raniganj coalfields, the Parbatpur block in Jharia coalfield and the East and West Bokaro coalfields.
- The Son valley includes the Sonhat North and Sohagpur East and West blocks.