The Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) system is a clean technology for obtaining energy from coal. The coaxial UCG system is supposed to be compact and flexible in order to adapt to complicated geological conditions caused by the existence of faults and folds in the ground. In this study, the application of a coaxial UCG system with a horizontal well is discussed, by means of an ex situ model UCG experiment in a large-scale simulated coal seam with dimensions of 550 × 600 × 2740 mm. A horizontal well with a 45-mm diameter and a 2600-mm length was used as an injection/production well. During the experiment, changes in temperature field and product gas compositions were observed when changing the outlet position of the injection pipe. It was found that the UCG reactor is unstable and expands continuously due to fracturing activity caused by coal crack initiation and extension under the influence of thermal stress. Therefore, acoustic emission (AE) is considered an effective tool to monitor fracturing activities and visualize the gasification zone of coal. The results gathered from monitoring of AEs agree with the measured data of temperatures; the source location of AE was detected around the region where temperature increased. The average calorific value of the produced gas was 6.85 MJ/Nm3
, and the gasification efficiency, defined as the conversion efficiency of the gasified coal to syngas, was 65.43%, in the whole experimental process. The study results suggest that the recovered coal energy from a coaxial UCG system is comparable to that of a conventional UCG system. Therefore, a coaxial UCG system may be a feasible option to utilize abandoned underground coal resources without mining.
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