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Alberta and Swan Hills Synfuels close on $285M in funding for CO2 capture from underground coal gasification project

The Government of Alberta and Swan Hills Synfuels recently signed a final funding agreement for a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project that will capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from an underground coal gasification (UCG)process. The two had signed a letter of intent on the funding in December 2009. (Earlier post.)

The in-situ coal gasification project will tap into a deep, unmineable coalbed near Swan Hills and convert the coal into syngas which will then be used to fuel a power plant. The project will also capture up to 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 per year that will be used for enhanced oil recovery in the area.

We are excited to be building a baseload generating plant that will provide the reliability and economic stability that coal-fired power has brought to Alberta for many years, but with greenhouse gas emissions lower than that of comparable natural gas-fired generation.

—Martin Lambert, CEO of Swan Hills Synfuels

The province has committed $285 million to the Swan Hills Synfuels project as part of its $2 billion CCS funding program. Construction is expected to begin in 2013 with carbon capture beginning in late 2015.



A smart idea to convert coal to NG, NG to electricity, Co2 to crude oil production enhancer. Could the same thing be done with Tar Sands?


Harvey, it´s "an underground coal gasification (UCG) process" not exactly a conversion to NG. Even though some energy is wasted underground as heat, it allows recovering part of the energy that otherwise would be left there.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_coal_gasification#Process

    Underground coal gasification converts coal to gas while still in the coal seam (in-situ). Gas is produced and extracted through wells drilled into the unmined coal–seam. Injection wells are used to supply the oxidants (air, oxygen, or steam) to ignite and fuel the underground combustion process. Separate production wells are used to bring the product gas to surface.[5][7] The high pressure combustion is conducted at temperature of 700–900 °C (1290–1650 °F), but it may reach up to 1,500 °C (2,730 °F).[2][5] The process decomposes coal and generates carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen (ḥ), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4). In addition, small quantities of various contaminants including sulfur oxides (SOx), mono-nitrogen oxides (NOx), and hydrogen sulfide(H2S).[5] As the coal face burns and the immediate area is depleted, the oxidants injected are controlled by the operator.[2]

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