Canada-based Biothermica Technologies has commissioned its first full-scale underground mine methane abatement facility at Coronado Global Resources ’ coal mine in the US.

Designed to reduce ventilation air methane (VAM), the Vamox unit has been deployed at the Buchanan metallurgical coal mine in Buchanan County, Virginia.

The Vamox unit has been approved by the US Department of Labor, Safety, Health and Mine Administration (MSHA) and is a specifically optimised regenerative thermal oxidation process.

When preheated, the unit oxidises diluted methane in the ventilation air without fossil fuel use.

Biothermica Air And Technologies Division vice-president Dominique Kay said: “We are proud of the delivery of our 160,000cfm Vamox unit. This follows more than 15 years of development that began in 2007 with an initial 25,000cfm pilot plant at the JWR metallurgical coal mine site in Brookwood, Alabama.

“The Vamox unit offers a treatment capacity that exceeds any other technology on the market, positioning Biothermica as a leader in the destruction of methane in underground mines.”

Biothermica anticipates the unit to cut 300,000tpa of CO₂ equivalent.

Coronado Global Resources business development and engineering vice-president Bob Cline said: “This project will reduce the methane emission footprint at our Buchanan Mine and contribute to our GHG reduction commitments in line with the Global Methane Pledge initiated by the United States and the European Union at COP26.”

Located in the Central Appalachian Basin in southwestern Virginia, the Buchanan Mine Complex produced Low-Vol metallurgical coal of 4.4Mt last year.