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Old 31st Jul 2013, 00:02
  #99 (permalink)  
Milo Minderbinder
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Posts: 2,179
" I think someone wanted to drill lots of holes into the coal beds and then get them to burn (or at least char) "

There were two theoretical suggested ways of doing this
One was to pass superheated steam down into the coal seam and "burn" the coal to get back a mix of hydrogen and carbon monoxide
You'd get a lot of other hydrocarbons, and organosulphur products as unburnt impurities.
Not the same as passing limited quantities of air over coal to produce just carbon monoxide "producer gas" - as used in traditional town gas plants

The other was to burn the coal in-situ with a limited amount of oxygen, in the hope the coal tars could be melted and then pumped out. From memory the idea was to burn around 20% of the coal, and hope the heat generated would be enough to distil the coal tars off the rest. If memory serves correctly, the plan was to burn along an advancing flame front with oxygen pumped out the rear, and the coal tars drawn from the coal in front of the flame front.

Both would be bloody filthy things to do, potential environmental disasters

Last edited by Milo Minderbinder; 31st Jul 2013 at 00:10.
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