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Energies 2016, 9(6), 440; doi:10.3390/en9060440

Effect of Coal Rank on Various Fluid Saturations Creating Mechanical Property Alterations Using Australian Coals

Deep Earth Energy Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Building 60, Melbourne, Victoria 3800, Australia
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Academic Editor: Thomas E. Amidon
Received: 13 April 2016 / Revised: 26 May 2016 / Accepted: 1 June 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Bioenergy and Biofuel)
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Abstract

During CO2 sequestration in deep coal seams, the coal mass may be subjected to various fluid (CO2, N2, etc.) saturations. Therefore, in order to maintain the long-term integrity of the process, it is necessary to identify the mechanical responses of preferable coal seams for various fluid saturations. To date, many studies have focused on the CO2 saturation effect on coal mass strength and less consideration has been given to the influence of other saturation mediums. Hence, this study aims to investigate coal’s mechanical responses to water and N2 saturations compared to CO2 saturation and to determine the effect of coal-rank. A series of unconfined compressive strength (UCS) tests was conducted on Australian brown and black coal samples saturated with water and N2 at various saturation pressures. An advanced acoustic emission (AE) system was utilized to identify the changes in crack propagation behaviors under each condition. According to the results, both CO2 and water act similarly with coal by enhancing the ductile properties of the coal mass and this mechanical weakening is greater for high-rank coal. Conversely, N2 saturation slightly enhances coal strength and delays crack propagation in coal and this strength enhancement can be improved by increasing the N2 saturation pressure. View Full-Text
Keywords: coal rank; mechanical properties; N2 saturation; CO2 saturation; water saturation coal rank; mechanical properties; N2 saturation; CO2 saturation; water saturation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Perera, M.S.A.; Ranathunga, A.S.; Ranjith, P.G. Effect of Coal Rank on Various Fluid Saturations Creating Mechanical Property Alterations Using Australian Coals. Energies 2016, 9, 440.

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