Fugitive Methane Containment

Containing Fugitive Methane Emissions

The CC Lab is investigating options for methane destruction and containment. Both natural sources of methane, such as peatlands, and human-generated sources, such as coal mines and oil and gas wells, are of interest. Methane is an especially potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 85 times that of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.

Containing Fugitive Coal Mine Methane

Across the U.S., coal mines serve as a major source of methane emissions – an estimated 47.4 million MTCO2e according to the 2019 Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks.

Initial CC Lab efforts focus on opportunities in states in the Appalachian region including, but not limited to, Kentucky,  Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The team is also investigating international opportunities and ways to advance incentive structures to encourage methane capture. 

The CC Lab is engaging with relevant stakeholders to deploy novel and effective methods of containing and destroying methane emissions across various applications. In addition, the CC Lab is analyzing production, employment, and economic data to prioritize among mine and well sites, corporations, and geographies that may provide the most meaningful methane reductions. The CC Lab prioritizes engagements and collaborations that include local community involvement and provide localized benefits.

The CC Lab estimates that the total containment opportunity for destruction and containment of fugitive methane emissions contributes significantly to Lab goals both for the current decade and for 2100. Initial efforts will focus on U.S. methane sources, but the Lab aims to support innovations in this area that will scale globally.