ACARP ACARP ACARP ACARP
Low Emission Coal Use

Review of Underground Coal Gasification

Low Emission Coal Use » Low Emission Coal Use

Published: September 09Project Number: C18007

Get ReportAuthor: Andrew Beath | CSIRO Energy Technology

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification, covering basic principles and techniques, but with an emphasis on environmental issues and a summary of the current status of worldwide activities. Underground coal gasification is a technology that was first envisaged in the late 1800's and has been demonstrated using various techniques at site in the former Soviet Union, the USA, the UK, China and various other countries from the 1930's onwards. Commercial application in the past has been limited to several sites in the former Soviet Union, but in recent years different techniques have been demonstrated by Linc Energy and Carbon Energy in Australia, plus Eskom in South Africa. In most forms, the technology uses drilled wells to access the subject coal seam from the surface and uses air or oxygen from an injection well to gasify the coal and the partially oxidised fuel or synthesis gas is recovered through a production well. Improvements in drilling and geological surveying technologies appear to have made the more reliable construction of gasifiers possible; however, concerns exist about the environmental impacts of the technology. Past trials, particularly in the USA, have shown that operations at poorly selected sites can cause excessive subsidence, groundwater consumption and groundwater contamination. In summary, whether or not UCG can be performed in an environmentally sustainable manner depends very strongly on the site as the performance of the technology is extremely site sensitive. While the technology has benefitted from advances in drilling and geological surveying to the extent that it is likely that site selection and construction can be performed with lower risk, it nevertheless remains necessary to validate that the process can be operated reliably with minimal environmental impact on larger scales. The long history of experimental experience with the technology has meant that many potential issues have been addressed in formulating the site selection criteria, plant designs and operating procedures that are now being used. However, the difficulties in instrumenting underground coal gasification sites need to be addressed so that there can be confidence that the process can be fully managed.

Underground

Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C25060Development Of Borehole Shear Monitoring Device For Routine Application In Coal Mine Roadways

This project outlines the development of a cost effective, routine s...

C26063Reliable Estimation Of Horizontal Stress Magnitudes From Borehole Breakout Data

The main objective of the project is to develop a reliable and simpl...

C26053Predict Stress State And Geotechnical Conditions Near Major Geological Structures Using Microseismic Technology And Distinct Element Modelling

Stress state and geotechnical conditions often change significantly ...

Underground

Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C25031Developing Closure Criteria For River Diversions: An Alternative To Reference Sites

The use of reference sites for establishing closure criteria in area...

C25025Guidelines For Estimating Coal Measure Rock Mass Strength From Laboratory Properties - Report A Empirical Approach And Report B Synthetic Rock Mass Models

This report combined different approaches to investigate the estimat...

C27074Tyre Integrity Monitoring

Driving mine trucks with underinflated and overloaded tyres subjects...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C25019Adaptation Of Coal Grain Analysis To Improve Flotation Yield Estimation

This project involved sampling of full-scale flotation circuits at ...

C250083D Flotation Of Fine Particles

In this project a process for the continuous, selective agglomeratio...

C25012Dewatering Of Ultrafine Coals And Tailings By Centrifugation: Pilot Scale Studies

Dewatering of ultrafine coal and tailings is a big challenge to the ...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C27036Improved Understanding Of Coke Quality Using 3D Immersive Visualisation And Statistical Characterisation Of Microstructure Properties

This project carried out an explorative study into the use of a 3D v...

C27047Combustion Characteristics Of Australian Export Thermal Coal Using Advanced Imaging Techniques

During pulverised fuel combustion, coal particles are rapidly pyroly...

C26044Physical And Chemical Interactions Occurring During Cokemaking And Their Influence On Coke Strength

This project builds onto a previous project , C24055 in which macera...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C26004CFD Modelling Of Reverse Thermal Oxidisers For VAM Abatement - CFD Modelling Of Fixed-Bed RTO Devices

The project is part of a larger multi‐phase program of study a...

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

C27008Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids

The connection of a ventilation air methane (VAM) abatement plant di...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community

NERDDC

National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook

NERDDC