Enhanced Coal Bed Methane Recovery and CO2 Sequestration in the Powder River Basin

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Unminable coal beds are potentially large storage reservoirs for the sequestration of anthropogenic CO2 and offer the benefit of enhanced methane production, which can offset some of the costs associated with CO2 sequestration. The objective of this report is to provide a final topical report on enhanced coal bed methane recovery and CO2 sequestration to the U.S. Department of Energy in fulfillment of a Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership milestone. This report summarizes work done at Idaho National Laboratory in support of Phase II of the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership. Research that elucidates the interaction of CO2 and coal ... continued below

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Robertson, Eric P. June 1, 2010.

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Unminable coal beds are potentially large storage reservoirs for the sequestration of anthropogenic CO2 and offer the benefit of enhanced methane production, which can offset some of the costs associated with CO2 sequestration. The objective of this report is to provide a final topical report on enhanced coal bed methane recovery and CO2 sequestration to the U.S. Department of Energy in fulfillment of a Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership milestone. This report summarizes work done at Idaho National Laboratory in support of Phase II of the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership. Research that elucidates the interaction of CO2 and coal is discussed with work centering on the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana. Sorption-induced strain, also referred to as coal swelling/shrinkage, was investigated. A new method of obtaining sorption-induced strain was developed that greatly decreases the time necessary for data collection and increases the reliability of the strain data. As coal permeability is a strong function of sorption-induced strain, common permeability models were used to fit measured permeability data, but were found inadequate. A new permeability model was developed that can be directly applied to coal permeability data obtained under laboratory stress conditions, which are different than field stress conditions. The coal permeability model can be used to obtain critical coal parameters that can be applied in field models. An economic feasibility study of CO2 sequestration in unminable coal seams in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming was done. Economic analyses of CO2 injection options are compared. Results show that injecting flue gas to recover methane from CBM fields is marginally economical; however, this method will not significantly contribute to the need to sequester large quantities of CO2. Separating CO2 from flue gas and injecting it into the unminable coal zones of the Powder River Basin seam is currently uneconomical, but can effectively sequester over 86,000 tons (78,200 Mg) of CO2 per acre while recovering methane to offset costs. The cost to separate CO2 from flue gas was identified as the major cost driver associated with CO2 sequestration in unminable coal seams. Improvements in separations technology alone are unlikely to drive costs low enough for CO2 sequestration in unminable coal seams in the Powder River Basin to become economically viable. Breakthroughs in separations technology could aid the economics, but in the Powder River Basin, they cannot achieve the necessary cost reductions for breakeven economics without incentives.

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-10-18941
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • DOI: 10.2172/983351 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 983351
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1013713

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • June 1, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2017, 4:33 p.m.

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Robertson, Eric P. Enhanced Coal Bed Methane Recovery and CO2 Sequestration in the Powder River Basin, report, June 1, 2010; Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1013713/: accessed July 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.