Carbon Energy is an energy company that uses Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) technology to transform deep coal resources into gas underground.
The UCG process involves a series of boreholes that are operated remotely from the surface. Air or a combination of oxygen and steam are injected into the gasification panel within the coal seam. The coal is then heated and controlled reactions convert solid coal into product gas, known as “syngas”, which is extracted at the surface.
Carbon Energy highlights 5 noteworthy environmental advantages of UCG technology:
1. Protects groundwater reserves
The gasification process takes place below the hydrostatic pressure and does not pump groundwater to the surface. Sustaining the surrounding groundwater pressure acts as containment for the gasification process, ensuring the syngas flows to the surface under pressure via the Production Well.
2. Minimises surface disturbance
Minimal surface disturbance is achieved by extracting the energy from coal through a series of boreholes rather than mechanical excavation, which is often used in conventional mining methods.
3. Cuts carbon emissions
Syngas-fuelled electricity is produced with 10-20% less CO2 emissions than traditional coal-fired power plants, helping to reduce the cost of carbon capture.
4. Debris left underground
The UCG process leaves the rock and ash, originally mixed with the coal, underground in the coal seam.
5. Maximises resource efficiency
The UCG process extracts 20 times more energy from the same coal resource when compared to coal seam gas (coal bed methane) production.
More information on the Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) process and technology is available from Carbon Energy.