Underground Coal Gasification
Creating the Coalmine of the 21st Century
A team lead by Dr Jim Somerville (and formerly also Prof. Brian Smart) proposes to use technology developed for oil and gas fields to investigate tapping into vast coal reserves.
A year long feasibillty study, which is being funded by the Department for Trade and Industry, Scottish Enterprise, and Scottish and Southern Energy plc, will involve computer modelling of geological data and borehole planning, environmental impact assessment and economic perfomance assessment and could create the specification for the coalmine of the 21st century.
What is Underground Coal Gasification?
The method converts the unworked coal into a combustible gas which is processed to remove CO2 and so create a source of clean energy with minimal greehouse gas emission. This research will be a world leading demonstration of a new and more environmentally acceptable method of using coal and could offer continuous access to the most secure and sure supply of natural energy without impacting on global warming.