Underground coal gasification nears commercialization

Scott L. Montgomery, Petroleum Consultant, Seattle, Wash. Steve MorzentiGasTech Inc.Casper, Wyo. Repeated trial successes and the global need for new energy sources indicate that underground coal gasification (UCG) may be nearing commercialization.The technology is overcoming previous barriers to commercial development, such as environmental concerns and low energy prices. Compared with surface integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) and, especially, conventional coal-fired stations, UCG marks an improvement in costs, effects, and emissions. UCG represents a technology with considerable potential in power generation, industrial applications, and petrochemical feedstocks.For nation...

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