Coal Geology & Exploration


In the Fukang block located in the eastern part of the southern Junggar Basin, coalbed methane (CBM) from CBM wells exhibits a gradually increasing H2S concentration in the process of CBM production via water drainage, severely threatening production safety. Based on the CBM exploration and extraction data, as well as the anaerobic fermentation experiments, this study preliminarily investigated the causes of abnormal H2S concentrations during the CBM production in the Fukang block. As indicated by the gas content test in the CBM exploration stage, the original CBM showed a low H2S concentration of only up to 2.152×10−6. Abnormal H2S concentrations did not occur at the beginning of CBM production. However, some wells exhibited abnormal H2S concentrations as CBM production proceeded. For example, the No.13 CBM well showed an abnormal increase in H2S concentration after seven years of gas production, with the H2S concentration reaching 700×10−6. The grey relational analysis reveals that the H2S concentration is closely related to the yield and quality of water in CBM wells. H2S generation can be promoted under a sufficient supply of nutrients from groundwater for microbial metabolism. As shown by the anaerobic fermentation system constructed with the coal and water produced from the Fukang block as the anaerobic broth, the H2S production was inversely and positively proportional to the SO4 2− and HCO3 contents in the fermentation broth, respectively. In this system, CH4 showed a lagging gas production peak and significantly lower cumulative gas production compared to H2S. However, the anaerobic fermentation system constructed with coal from the block and distilled water as the fermentation broth primarily produced CH4, with only a small amount of H2S. These findings indicate that H2S was generated from the reduction of SO4 2− by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) using CH4 as electron donors. The gradually decreasing content of low-molecular-weight organic acids in the fermentation broth indicates that SRB also reduced SO4 2− using organic acids as electron donors. Therefore, the field production data and the anaerobic fermentation experimental results indicate that H2S in the Fukang block was generated from the reduction of SO4 2− in the coal seam water by SRB. The biogenic gas generated in the CBM production stage, which is different from primary and secondary biogenic gases, is referred to as the epigenetic biogenic gas, in which the H2S is called epigenetic biogenic H2S. The generation of epigenetic biogenic gas during the CBM production further corroborates the feasibility of implementing CBM bioengineering under human intervention.


Fukang block in the southern Junggar Basin, water from a coalbed methane well, sulfate reduction, SO4 2−, epigenetic biogenic H2S




[1] TAN Bo,SHAO Zhuangzhuang,WEI Hongyi,et al. Status of research on hydrogen sulphide gas in Chinese mines[J]. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International,2020,27(3):2502−2521.

[2] 邓奇根,温洁洁,刘明举,等. 基于泉 (井)水特性的准噶尔盆地东南缘煤矿硫化氢成因研究[J]. 河南理工大学学报 (自然科学版),2018,37(1):8−14.

DENG Qigen,WEN Jiejie,LIU Mingju,et al. Study on the formation of hydrogen sulfide in coal mines of southeastern margin of Junggar Basin based on the characteristics of spring (well) water[J]. Journal of Henan Polytechnic University (Natural Science),2018,37(1):8−14.

[3] MACHEL H G. Bacterial and thermochemical sulfate reduction in diagenetic settings–old and new insights[J]. Sedimentary Geology,2001,140(1/2):143–175.

[4] HUANG Liuke,WU Yuliang,FAN Kaixiang,et al. Formation and transport mechanism of hydrogen sulfide in coal seam[J]. Materials Science Forum,2016,4280(863):149−153.

[5] 刘明举,李国旗,HANI M,等. 煤矿硫化氢气体成因类型探讨[J]. 煤炭学报,2011,36(6):978−983.

LIU Mingju,LI Guoqi,HANI M,et al. Genesis modes discussion of H2S gas in coal mines[J]. Journal of China Coal Society,2011,36(6):978−983.

[6] YANG Shengbo,WANG Haichao,FU Xuehai,et al. Hydrogen sulfide occurrence states in China’s coal seams[J]. Energy Exploration & Exploitation,2022,40(1):17−37.

[7] 张泽源,侯昕悦,王世东,等. 保德煤矿奥陶纪灰岩水H2S形成机理及防治技术[J]. 煤矿安全,2020,51(5):203−207.

ZHANG Zeyuan,HOU Xinyue,WANG Shidong,et al. Formation mechanism and prevention technology of H2S in Ordovician limestone water in Baode Coal Mine[J]. Safety in Coal Mines,2020,51(5):203−207.

[8] CAI Chunfang,LI Hongxia,LI Kaikai,et al. Thermochemical sulfate reduction in sedimentary basins and beyond:A review[J]. Chemical Geology,2022,607:121018.

[9] LIU Mingju,DENG Qigen,ZHAO Fajun,et al. Origin of hydrogen sulfide in coal seams in China[J]. Safety Science,2012,50(4):668−673.

[10] 刘小辉. 阜康矿区H2S异常煤矿地质控制因素分析[D]. 乌鲁木齐:新疆大学,2014.

LIU Xiaohui. Analysis of geological control factors H2S abnormal mine in Fukang Mine[D]. Urumqi:Xinjiang University,2014.

[11] 李洋冰,曾磊,胡维强,等. 保德地区煤层气地球化学特征及成因探讨[J]. 煤田地质与勘探,2021,49(2):133−141.

LI Yangbing,ZENG Lei,HU Weiqiang,et al. Geochemical characteristics and genesis of coalbed methane in Baode area[J]. Coal Geology & Exploration,2021,49(2):133−141.

[12] NEAL A L,DOHNALKOVA A,MCCREADY D,et al. Iron sulfides and sulfur species produced at hematite surfaces in the presence of sulfate−reducing bacteria[J]. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta,2001,65(2):223−235.

[13] PETER K,RENATE S,UDO J,et al. Hydrogenophaga defluvii sp. nov. and hydrogenophaga atypica sp. nov. isolated from activated sludge[J]. International Journal of Systematic & Evolutionary Microbiology,2005,55(Pt 1):341–344.

[14] 谢炳辉. 大型灌区地下水水质分析:以泾惠渠灌区为例[D]. 西安:长安大学,2013.

XIE Binghui. Research on groundwater quality of large–scale irrigation:A case of Jinghuiqu irrigation district[D]. Xi’an:Chang’an University,2013.

[15] FANG Heting,OBEROI A S,HE Zhiqing,et al. Ciprofloxacin−degrading paraclostridium sp. isolated from sulfate−reducing bacteria−enriched sludge:Optimization and mechanism[J]. Water Research,2021,191:116808.

[16] ZHAO Zhiqiang,LI Yang,QUAN Xie,et al. Towards engineering application:Potential mechanism for enhancing anaerobic digestion of complex organic waste with different types of conductive materials[J]. Water Research,2017,115:266−277.

[17] CHENG Shaoan,XING Defeng,CALL D F,et al. Direct biological conversion of electrical current into methane by electromethanogenesis[J]. Environmental Science & Technology,2009,43(10):3953−3958.

[18] 弓凯仪,郭红光,张益瑄,等. 复配高效菌群厌氧降解煤产甲烷实验研究[J]. 矿业安全与环保,2023,50(3):12−17.

GONG Kaiyi,GUO Hongguang,ZHANG Yixuan,et al. Experimental study on methane generation from anaerobic degradation of coal by compound high-efficiency flora[J]. Mining Safety & Environmental Protection,2023,50(3):12−17.

[19] JABARI L,GANNOUN H,CAYOL J L,et al. Macellibacteroides fermentans gen. nov.,sp. nov.,a member of the family Porphyromonadaceae isolated from an upflow anaerobic filter treating abattoir wastewaters[J]. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology,2012,62(Pt10):2522−2527.

[20] MUYZER G,STAMS A J M. The ecology and biotechnology of sulphate−reducing bacteria[J]. Nature Reviews Microbiology,2008,6(6):441−454.

[21] 王爱宽,秦勇. 生物成因煤层气实验研究现状与进展[J]. 煤田地质与勘探,2010,38(5):23−27.

WANG Aikuan,QIN Yong. Research status and progress of experimental study on biogenic coalbed methane[J]. Coal Geology & Exploration,2010,38(5):23−27.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.