Sorption capacity and sorption kinetic measurements of CO 2 and CH 4 in confined and unconfined bituminous coal

J. Denis N. Pone, Phillip M. Halleck, Jonathan P. Mathews

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Carbon dioxide injection into coal formations provides an opportunity to sequester carbon while simultaneously enhancing methane recovery. Although powdered coal samples provide a quick indication of the gas sorption capacity, underground storage takes place within compact coal monoliths, and therefore, it may be necessary to account for in situ conditions, specifically confining stress, for meaningful estimates. This study presents the sorption rates and sorption capacities of CO 2 and CH 4 for a bituminous coal sample in a whole sample and in pulverized form. The impact of confining stress on these sorption capacities of coal cores is evaluated with a multiple-point isotherm over a prolonged time period. The kinetics of the complex, heterogeneous processes occurring in a bituminous coal sample are quantified while under confining stress. Sorption capacities for a powdered sample are 1.17 and 0.66 mmol/g for CO 2 and CH 4, respectively. The application of 6.9 and 13.8 MPa of confining stress contributed to 39 and 64% CO 2 sorption capacity reduction. Similarly, 85 and 91% CH 4 uptake capacity reduction is observed at those confining stresses. The time-dependent gas diffusion parameters are quantified using the volumetric method with a mathematical analysis of the pressure-decay data. Carbon dioxide diffused through the coal faster than CH 4. Initial exposure over a few days showed a rapid reduction in diffusion presumably as the macro-and mesopores filled. With longer exposure, 10 additional days, a steady slower diffusion is observed for CO 2. The steady-state slower diffusion is achieved within a few days for CH 4. It was found that the overall gas movement, specifically diffusion, is hindered by confining stresses and takes place at rates significantly less than in unconfined powder coal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4688-4695
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 17 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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