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Energies 2017, 10(6), 739; doi:10.3390/en10060739

Prediction of Steam Jacket Dynamics and Water Balances in Underground Coal Gasification

GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Fluid Systems Modelling, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
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Academic Editor: Mehrdad Massoudi
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
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Abstract

Underground coal gasification (UCG) converts coal to a high-calorific synthesis gas for the production of fuels or chemical feedstock. UCG reactors are generally operated below hydrostatic pressure to avoid leakage of UCG fluids into overburden aquifers. Additionally, fluid flow out of and into the reactor is also determined by the presence of the steam jacket, emerging in close reactor vicinity due to the high temperatures generated in UCG operation. Aiming at improving the understanding of the substantial role of the steam jacket in UCG operations, we employ numerical non-isothermal multiphase flow simulations to assess the occurring multiphase fluid flow processes. For that purpose, we first validate our modeling approach against published data on the U.S. UCG field trials at Hanna and Hoe Creek, achieving a very good agreement between our simulation and the observed water balances. Then, we discuss the effect of coal seam permeability and UCG reactor pressure on the dynamic multiphase flow processes in the reactor’s vicinity. The presented modeling approach allows for the quantification and prediction of time-dependent temperature and pressure distributions in the reactor vicinity, and thus steam jacket dynamics as well as reactor water in- and outflows. View Full-Text
Keywords: underground coal gasification; non-isothermal multiphase flow; numerical simulation; model validation underground coal gasification; non-isothermal multiphase flow; numerical simulation; model validation
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Otto, C.; Kempka, T. Prediction of Steam Jacket Dynamics and Water Balances in Underground Coal Gasification. Energies 2017, 10, 739.

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