SOURCE: Zeus Development Corp.

June 14, 2007 10:16 ET

UCG Addresses Global Warming Concerns, Significantly Expands Coal Feedstock Use

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - June 14, 2007) - Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) has the potential to solve the traditional environmental and emerging global warming problems associated with producing coal-based electricity, transportation fuels and chemical feedstocks. UCG could be the answer to how to use the world's abundant coal reserves in an environmentally responsible and technically feasible way.

These important topics will be discussed at the UCG conference in Houston, June 21 and 22, hosted by SYNGAS Refiner newsletter and Zeus Development Corporation. More at

UCG is a fossil-fuel technology that inherently restricts CO2 emissions because raw UCG gas contains CO2 in varying concentrations that can be easily captured. UCG gas is produced under pressure and at a moderate temperature, and easily lends itself to CO2 removal by standard methods, with low-energy penalty and at a relatively low cost.

After capture and removal, CO2 can be sequestered in underground storage zones created by coal extraction in the UCG operations. The energy penalty and relative cost of CO2 re-compression and sequestering are comparatively low. CO2 can also be injected into deep saline aquifers and even deeper coal seams as well as used for enhanced recovery of oil, natural gas and coalbed methane.

As with conventional IGCC, UCG gas can be used to generate electricity with power-island efficiency as high as 55% and overall UCG-IGCC process efficiency reaching 43%, resulting in very low rates of greenhouse emissions per unit of net power generated. In Fischer-Tropsch syntheses and synthetic natural gas or fertilizer production, CO2 removal is a routine unit operation. Permanent CO2 storage in UCG-created permeable zones and other sinks will significantly reduce greenhouse emissions created by the overall process from initial coal conversion to the end product.

The UCG process is also designed and tested to prevent or minimize other environmental impacts on air, soil and water including surface streams and groundwater. Gasification pressure in the gasifier is always slightly less than coalseam fluid's hydrostatic pressure and surrounding strata, creating a pressure gradient directed towards the gasifier. No flow from the gasifier into surroundings is allowed, preventing valuable product loss and contamination of the underground environment.

The thorough characterization of existing aquifers in the vicinity of the underground gasifier and careful monitoring of hydrostatic pressure in the aquifers during operations, form an integral part of the UCG groundwater protection strategy.

SYNGAS Refiner reports on and analyzes UCG developments regularly in its twice-monthly newsletter. More at

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