Thermal and Structural Response Evaluation for Underground Coal Gasification
- Sunder H. Advani (West Virginia U., Morgantown Energy Research Center) | Y.T. Lin (West Virginia U., Morgantown Energy Research Center) | L. Zane Shuck (West Virginia U., Morgantown Energy Research Center)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- December 1977
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 413 - 422
- 1977. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.7 Reserves Evaluation, 5.1.5 Geologic Modeling, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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Global and micro/macro structural models simulating the Longwall generator concept for underground coal gasification (UCG) are formulated for several geometric and loading conditions. Dynamic thermal and stress response solutions are computed for axisymmetric boundary value problems represented by a stationary circular cavity model and an expanding radially propagating circular cavity. Static thermoelastic response solutions are presented for circular and elliptical cylindrical presented for circular and elliptical cylindrical cavities in a homogeneous, isotropic medium and layered media. Considerations pertaining to roof collapse and surface subsidence are discussed. The micro/macro modeling investigations include thermorheological representation of Pittsburgh coal at elevated temperature and studies on thermal crack propagation of coal fissures. Finally, the relevance of stress and temperature profiles, fracture permeabilities, and fissure response is discussed in relation to the propagation and stability of the UCG process.
Fossil fuels are currently the main energy resource for the U.S. with coal reserve estimates ranging from 3 to 4 trillion tons. Only one-sixth of this coal can be extracted by state-of-the-art mining techniques. It is anticipated that about one-third of the U.S. total coal energy reserves, particularly thin coal beds and thick-seam deep coal, can be recovered by underground coal gasification (UCG). This process entails ignition of a coal seam and circulation of gas through a controlled path. The resulting chemical reactions produce a gas with calorific value, depending on several process parameters and variables. Their optimization parameters and variables. Their optimization requires sophisticated analytical simulations of the structural, heat transfer, fluid flow, and reaction kinetics aspects along with controlled laboratory experiments and field tests.
Descriptions and appraisals of various underground coal pregasification schemes and gasification processes mad a discussion of significant problems, processes mad a discussion of significant problems, such as roof collapse, gas leakage, water control, and surface subsidence, etc., have been given in a detailed report by Arthur D. Little, Inc.. Reports on UCG experiments in the Soviet Union, Great Britian, and other countries have been summarized in excellent monographs. The outlook for UCG in the U.S. was discussed recently at the First Annual UCG Symposium conducted by the Laramie Energy Research Center in Wyo. It appears that several candidate concepts and solutions exist, depending (on the type of coal, coal seam thickness, overburden, and environmental requirements. The concepts currently being investigated by ERDA's research centers and laboratories include (1) the vertical well to well linking experiments at Hanna, Wyo., for medium seams (Laramie Energy Research Center), (2) the packed-bed concept for thick coal seams (Lawrence Livermore Laboratory), and (3) the Longwall generator concept for thin seams (Morgantown Energy Research Center).
This paper presents results obtained from analytical structural and thermal simulations associated moth the Longwall generator UCG concept. Temperature and stress response solutions are presented for different boundary value problem representations. The results of this study provide fundamental insight to the interpretation of UCG global and micro/macro mechanisms.
UCG LONGWALL GENERATOR CONCEPT AND MECHANISMS
Morgantown Energy Research Center presently is developing the Longwall generator concept to gasify thin-seam eastern coals (Fig. 1). In this concept, directional holes (6-in. diameter) are drilled from the ground surface with horizontal holes, 500 ft in length, entering through the 6-ft-thick coal seam (1,000-ft overburden) and returning vertically back to the coal surface. The gasification reaction zone propagates horizontally in the coal propagates horizontally in the coal maximum-permeability direction between the parallel horizontal holes drilled approximately in the coal butt-cleat direction.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||10|