A Scaling Study of Microbially-Enhanced Methane Production from Coal (MECBM): Optimizing Nutrient Delivery for Maximized Methane Production Email Page
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Performer:  Pennsylvania State University Location:  University Park, Pennsylvania
Project Duration:  10/01/2015 – 03/31/2018 Award Number:  FE0026161
Technology Area:  Gasification Systems Total Award Value:  $705,349
Key Technology:  Site Specific Coal Conversion DOE Share:  $564,201
Performer Share:  $141,148

Methane yield from coal in<br/>nutrient solutions containing<br/>trypticase soy broth (TSB).
Methane yield from coal in
nutrient solutions containing
trypticase soy broth (TSB).

Project Description

The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) along with Southern Illinois University–Carbondale (SIUC) will conduct an experimental program to examine potential improvement in methane production from two deep coalbed sites. Formation water samples will be used in batch screening experiments to optimize nutrient design in order to maximize the methane production rate and limit by-products. Initial screening will be under ex-situ conditions—allowing for numerous comparisons with successful nutrient solutions—then conducted in core holders under re-created reservoir conditions to measure the effect on methane productivity. The team will examine the feasibility of hydraulic fracturing methods to maximize nutrient delivery and product recovery while ensuring the longevity of permeability in the induced fractures. The outputs of this broad suite of experiments and analyses will be used to design a field experiment to examine the feasibility of seeding coalbed reservoirs with nutrients developed from the recipes, and a preliminary techno-economic evaluation of the microbially-enhanced coal bio-gasification process. This project builds on an existing SIUC project under DOE contract FE0024126.

Project Benefits

The PSU team plans to optimize the design of nutrient recipes for samples recovered from two coal basins. The work will help maximize gas yield through improved nutrient solutions and nutrient delivery methods and determine gas production through the use of injected solutions. This work will provide data for a scoping design of a field demonstration project to explore key factors that influence the bio-gasification of coalbeds. The study will explore all facets (i.e., define key variables to be measured and provide the layout and dimensioning) relevant to the design of a field experiment and in defining the techno-economic feasibility of MECBM.

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Diane Revay Madden: diane.madden@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager K David Lyons: k.lyons@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator Derek Elsworth : elsworth@psu.edu