Mining Publication: The Composition of Coalbed Gas
Samples of gas were obtained directly from the coalbed during drilling of horizontal and vertical boreholes in six different formations. The samples were analyzed by gas chromatography for C1 to C5 hydrocarbons and for 02, N2, H2, He, and CO2. Methane in the gas varied from 63 to 99 percent; carbon dioxide from 0.1 to 15 percent. The CH4/CO2 ratio varied and showed no apparent correlation with age, rank, or bed. The majority of samples contained ethane, propane, and butane; hydrogen and helium were found in some samples. Oxygen and nitrogen were usually present, possibly as a result of air contamination. A more extensive sampling program would be necessary to establish a relationship between the amount and composition of the gas in the coalbed and other factors.