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Insights into ground response during underground coal gasification through thermo-mechanical modeling

Gao, Wu ORCID:, Zagorščak, Renato ORCID: and Thomas, Hywel Rhys ORCID: 2022. Insights into ground response during underground coal gasification through thermo-mechanical modeling. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics 46 (1) , pp. 3-22. 10.1002/nag.3287

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This paper presents a coupled thermo-mechanical model to investigate the ground response during underground coal gasification (UCG). The model incorporated the temporal and spatial development of temperature, the gradual growth of the cavity, and temperature-dependent material properties. Model verification was made against two benchmarks to acquire the confidence for the predictive purpose. The first exercise demonstrated the correctness of the model implemented in COMPASS. The second exercise showed that using the ash-filled cavity to represent null or empty zones is a good option in the numerical modeling and provided highly comparable results to other models. Based on the Hanna UCG trial, different cases were simulated to investigate the effects of the cavity size in the coal seam and the thermal expansion coefficient of the caprock and base rock on key features that take place during the process of UCG. A maximum temperature in the range of 1200–1500 ℃ was induced by the gasification of coal, and a cavity with a maximum length of 13.5 m was formed after 30 days of simulation. Meanwhile, small vertical displacement in the range of -5–12 mm took place near the cavity because of the thermal expansion of the geologic materials and the reduction of the overall weight with the creation of the cavity. In addition, it was found the thermal expansion coefficients can influence the thermo-mechanical response of geologic materials, but the effects were insignificant when its order of magnitude was smaller than 10-6 K-1.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons
ISSN: 0363-9061
Date of Acceptance: 9 October 2021
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 09:59

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