Underground coal gasification (UCG) is the in-situ conversion of deep underground coal to synthesis gas for heating, chemical manufacturing and power generation. UCG has been the subject of extensive pilot testing but technical and environmental concerns remain, not least its greenhouse gas emissions. An attractive solution is to combine UCG with CO2 capture and storage (CCS) so that the CO2 generated from the UCG and combustion of synthesis gas is re-injected back underground in the UCG cavities, adjacent unmineable coal seams and stressed strata. Thereby the emissions from UCG are eliminated and deep coal reserves become a new source of energy supply. This paper reviews the recent global development of UCG projects, the research progress of UCG technology and the technical developments and economic feasibility of UCG-CCS in recent EU projects.
Keywords: UCG, CCS, Computational modelling, Experimental tests