In the area of coal mines in South Africa, a huge cloud of methane was found from a satellite. According to the Parisian analytical company Kayrros SAS, the simultaneous concentration of dangerous gas over the African country was equal to the volume of emissions from 260 thousand cars moving at a speed of 95 kilometers per hour, writes Bloomberg.
The methane plume was spotted on May 10, about 125 kilometers east of the Sasol industrial enterprise, which is engaged in mining, chemical and fuel industries, and energy. The gas cloud moved at a speed of 65 tons per hour and set an anti-record for harmful emissions in South Africa since the beginning of 2021. Representatives of Sasol assured that the sensors of the devices in the mines did not record the exceeding of the emission limit values that day.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, South Africa’s problem can be mitigated if businesses begin capturing gas and reclaiming it for power generation, coal drying, and boiler fuel. For South Africa, which is still heavily dependent on coal, green technology can provide up to 80 percent of its electricity needs.
Methane is considered one of the main causes of the global greenhouse effect. Gas in the first 20 years of being in the air captures about 84 times more heat than CO2 (carbon dioxide). The Global Methane Initiative predicts that by the end of the decade, the coal industry will produce about ten percent of all methane from human activities. Animal husbandry is considered to be another major source of hazardous gas, accounting for about 15 percent of emissions. In June, American food giant Cargill announced the sale of special cow muzzles that capture methane from the breath and belch of livestock.