RESEARCH PAPERS: Rock Mechanics/Emerging Energy Technologies/Drilling

A Side Wall Burn Model for Cavity Growth in Underground Coal Gasification

[+] Author and Article Information
T. L. Eddy

School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga. 30332

S. H. Schwartz

Deparment of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, California State University at Northridge, Northridge, Calif.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 105(2), 145-155 (Jun 01, 1983) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3230894 History: Received April 01, 1981; Revised November 02, 1982; Online October 22, 2009


A mechanistic computer model is presented which predicts the 3-D cavity growth during the gasification phase of underground coal gasification. Developed for swelling bituminous coals, the model also obtains reasonable cavity width and length values for shrinking sub-bituminous coals. The model predicts cavity shape and burn-through times based on the coal properties, seam thickness, water reacting and the interwell distance. Employing a 2-D boundary layer model to determine the convective diffusion rate of oxygen to the reacting walls, it is found that natural convection diffusion must be included. The model includes flow in the injection region, the swirling, mixing effect in the cavity, and transitions from thick to thin seam geometry. Simulations of the Hanna II, Phase 2 and Pricetown I field tests, as well as a parametric study on Pittsburgh seam coal, are presented.

Copyright © 1983 by ASME
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