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In News pib- Coalbed methane (CBM)

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In News pib- Coalbed methane (CBM)

What to study?

For Prelims and mains: What is CBM? Potential, uses and challenges.

India’s CBM potential:

  1. India has the fifth-largest coal reserves in the world, and CBM has been looked at as a clean alternative fuel with significant prospects.
  2. India’s CBM resources are estimated at around 92 trillion cubic feet (TCF), or 2,600 billion cubic metres (BCM).
  3. The country’s coal and CBM reserves are found in 12 states of India, with the Gondwana sediments of eastern India holding the bulk.
  4. The Damodar Koel valley and Son valley are prospective areas for CBM development.

What is coalbed methane (CBM)?

It is an unconventional form of natural gas found in coal deposits or coal seams.

CMB is formed during the process of coalification, the transformation of plant material into coal.


CBM can be used:

  1. In Power generation.
  2. As Compressed natural gas (CNG) auto fuel.
  3. As feedstock for fertilisers.
  4. Industrial uses such as in cement production, rolling mills, steel plants, and for methanol production.

Challenges and concerns:

  1. Methane is a greenhouse gasemitted through CBM extraction. Global methane emissions from coal mines are projected to account for approximately 8 percent of total global methane emissions.
  2. Disturbance of lands drilled and its effect on wildlife habitats results in ecosystem damage.
  3. CBM production behaviour is complex and difficult to predict in the early stages of recovery.
  4. Another concern is the effect water discharges from CBM development could potentially have on downstream water sources.
  5. Disposal of the highly salinized water that must be removed in order to release the methane creates a challenge, as its introduction into freshwater ecosystems could have adverse effects.

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. CBM vs Shale gas.
  2. What is coalification?
  3. Greenhouse gases emitted during CBM extraction?

Mains Link:

What is coalbed methane? How is it extracted and what is its significance? Discuss.

Sources: pib.