Coal energy without mining

A QUEENSLAND company is piloting technology which will generate power from coal without having to dig it up and with 25% lower emissions than a traditional black-coal power station.

Cougar Energy is developing an underground coal gasification (UCG) project 10km south of Kingaroy, in southern Queensland.

UCG is the process of extracting coal from the ground through its transformation into a combustible gas for power generation. It can also be used in the production of diesel, fertilisers or chemicals.

Cougar managing director Dr Len Walker says that creating UCG syngas from underground coal seams - a technology originally developed in the former Soviet Union - produces lower emissions than black coal and is estimated to be up to 50% cheaper than natural gas.

The company’s manager-UCG projects John Henderson says UCG syngas is also an efficient fuel, with 75% of the energy retrieved.



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