--> --> Abstract: Potential for Underground Coal Gasification: Examples from Indiana, by M. Mastalerz, A. Drobniak, and J. Rupp; #90095 (2009)

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Potential for Underground Coal Gasification: Examples from Indiana

Maria Mastalerz, Agnieszka Drobniak, and John Rupp
Indiana Geological Survey, Bloomington, IN 47405, [email protected]

A renewed interest in the technology of underground coal gasification (UCG) enhances the potential to complement or even replace conventional methods of using coal. Many new projects of commercial scale are now being planned. Selection of the most effective UCG technology is a complex process that requires a variety of technical and geological factors to be taken into consideration for sites being evaluated.

In this study, the potential for employing the practice of UCG in Indiana has been evaluated. Based on a review of existing UCG projects and characteristics of Indiana coals, screening criteria were established, with the thickness and depth of coalbeds being considered the most important. Other geological criteria that are important include heating value, moisture content, and ash and sulfur content. The evaluation focused on the Springfield Coal Member of the Petersburg Formation and Seelyville Coal Member of the Linton Formation (Pennsylvanian). For these coals, a series of maps of selected coal parameters were generated. These maps were used to identify the most optimal areas for UCG with regard to geology. For the most promising areas, detailed maps which show available infrastructure (power plants, pipelines, etc.) were also generated. Analysis of these maps identified nine promising areas for UCG in Indiana, four for the Springfield and five for the Seelyville. A follow-up study, now in progress, will include a more detailed characterization of the selected areas and involve an assessment of geomechanical (subsidence risk), hydrological (groundwater protection) and chemical characteristics (kinetic analysis) of the coals.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90095©2009 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Evansville, Indiana, September 20-22, 2009