Lookup NU author(s): Dr Liadi Mudashiru,
Professor Dermot Roddy
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North East England is historically an energy intensive region due to its proud industrial heritage and leading position in manufacturing, engineering and chemical processing industries. In the coming years, our world will continue to face economic, environmental and energy related challenges. In the short and medium term, increases in global demand for energy are unlikely to be satisfied in full by the emergence of renewable energy technologies, which presently supply only a small fraction of our energy budget. This paper makes a case for clean use of coal in response to the needs of our society and the world to meet energy security needs in the new global low-carbon economy. Although, a transformation from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources should be the long-term goal, fossil fuels still form the backbone of our energy infrastructure, their use is inevitable, and they will still be supplying the major part of the global energy needs of for most of the 21st century. The emerging Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) technologies provide exciting opportunities to unlock the energy stored in coal seams in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. The syngas produced from UCG is a flexible fuel which can be cleaned for use in industrial heating, power generation or further chemical conversion into energy carriers like hydrogen, methanol and substitute natural gas. Project Ramsay is seeking to create the world’s first commercial scale underground coal gasification and carbon capture storage (UCG-CCS) operation. This paper presents our feasibility study and the initial findings on assessing the suitability of coal seams in North East England for UCG linked to Carbon Capture and Storage. The broad conclusions are that: previous estimates for UCG-compatible coal had been conservative; there are coal seams that appear to be usable for CO2 storage following UCG; and some of the end uses for syngas are potentially attractive. The most attractive options in financial terms are (1) to sell syngas, take back captured CO2 and store it for a fee, and (2) to sell decarbonised hydrogen and methane. It was concluded that a project could be done in three phases, ramping up the scale over time in order to minimise technical risk and investor exposure. Such a project could deliver a profit before year 10 and therefore might warrant follow-on discussion on a more commercial basis with interested parties. If developed on a broader scale, it could act as a source of investment funds for the renewable energy sector and thereby go beyond the ambition of being a bridging technology on the road to a sustainable energy future.
Author(s): Mudashiru LK, Roddy DJ
Editor(s): Mudashiru, LK; Roddy, DJ
Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)
Conference Name: Twenty-Sixth Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference
Year of Conference: 2009
Number of Volumes: 26
Publisher: Pittsburgh Coal Conference