The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented its Climate Protection Award to Megtec Systems, owned by New York-based Sequa Corp., in recognition of its patented technology that enables coal mine ventilation air methane (VAM) to be used as a primary energy-producing source.
Accepting the award for Megtec were Mohit Uberoi, Lars Sundback, Ake Kallstrand and Richard Mattus in a ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Climate Protection Award recipients are selected by the EPA from finalists chosen by an international advisory panel of judges representing government, industry and non-governmental organizations.
"Efforts to help fight climate change will benefit the planet for generations to come," stated Bob Meyers, principal deputy assistant administrator, EPA Office of Air & Radiation.
"We are honored and delighted for the recognition and appreciation shown by presenting Megtec with this highly respected award," said Uberoi, Megtec Systems President. "By bringing forward new technology to reduce methane emissions, we are proud to be part of the global climate protection solution."
Richard Mattus, business manager responsible for the VAM project at Megtec, added, "This award is a tribute to the dedication as well as the expertise of Megtec employees. The success of our installations shows that, going forward, this technology can have considerable impact. A single installation can reduce emissions corresponding to one million tons of CO 2equivalents, which has the same impact on global warming as taking up to half a million cars off the roads."
Coal mines are significant sources of methane emissions, noted the EPA in its award summary, and it is over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Most of these emissions, however, are found in the ventilation air where they, for mine safety reasons, have been extensively diluted by air to a less-than-1-percent methane concentration. This poses special challenges to design technically and economically viable systems to convert this greenhouse gas to usable energy.