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Determination of coalbed methane potential and gas adsorption capacity in Western Kentucky coals

Sarah Mardon,

University of Kentucky, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences,

Lexington, Kentucky,

[email protected]

The Illinois Basin has not been developed for Coalbed Methane (CBM) production. It is imperative to determine both gas content and other parameters for the Kentucky portion of the Illinois Basin if exploration is to progress and production is to occur in this area.

This research is part of a larger project being conducted by the Kentucky Geological Survey to evaluate the CBM production of Pennsylvanian-age western Kentucky coals in Ohio, Webster, and Union counties using methane adsorption isotherms, direct gas desorption measurements, and chemical analyses of coal and gas. My research will investigate relationships between CBM potential and petrographic, surface area, pore size, and gas adsorption isotherm analyses of the coals. Maceral and reflectance analyses will be conducted at the Center for Applied Energy Research. At the Indiana Geological Survey, the surface area and pore size of the coals will be analyzed using a Micrometrics ASAP 2020, and the CO2 isotherm analyses will be conducted using a volumetric adsorption apparatus in a water temperature bath.

The aforementioned analyses will be used to determine site specific correlations for the Kentucky part of the Illinois Basin. The data collected will be compared with previous work in the Illinois Basin and will be correlated with data and structural features in the basin. Gas composition and carbon and hydrogen isotopic data suggest mostly thermogenic origin of coalbed gas in coals from Webster and Union Counties, Kentucky, in contrast to the dominantly biogenic character of coalbed gas in Ohio County, Kentucky.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90060©2006 AAPG Foundation Grants-in-Aid