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In the coming year, the Energy Minerals Division is looking to improve and expand its information delivery system. EMD also is seeking volunteers to fill a number of vacant section and region councilor positions.
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Over the past year or so we have observed strong evidence that nuclear power is into a new expansion period.

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U.S. energy production, especially oil and natural gas from shale, is booming and expected to continue to grow. Consequently, this bounty is pushing up energy exports – including coal that is displaced by natural gas in power generation – and refined products that are not regulated.
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Coal is a readily combustible rock containing more than 50% by weight and more than 70% by volume of carbonaceous material, including inherent moisture.

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Great Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was undergoing great change. The Industrial Revolution was in full flood and there was an insatiable desire for coal to turn the wheels of industry.

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Comment period is open for the EPA proposed rule that would require CCS, carbon capture and storage. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rule, "Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units," is open for comment until March 10.

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Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is perhaps commercially viable but not proven at commercial scale, according to 100 clean-energy experts that recently released their recommendations to the White House: "Powering Forward: Presidential and Executive Agency Actions to Drive Clean Energy in America."

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Every six months, chairs of the Energy Minerals Division committees convene and report on developments in the areas they cover. In this column, we highlight important observations from these recent reports.

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The influence of moisture, temperature, coal rank, and differential enthalpy on the methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) sorption capacity of coals of different rank has been investigated by using high-pressure sorption isotherms at 303, 318, and 333 K (CH4) and 318, 333, and 348 K (CO2), respectively. The variation of sorption capacity was studied as a function of burial depth of coal seams using the corresponding Langmuir parameters in combination with a geothermal gradient of 0.03 K/m and a normal hydrostatic pressure gradient. Taking the gas content corresponding to 100% gas saturation at maximum burial depth as a reference value, the theoretical CH4 saturation after the uplift of the coal seam was computed as a function of depth. According to these calculations, the change in sorption capacity caused by changing pressure, temperature conditions during uplift will lead consistently to high saturation values. Therefore, the commonly observed undersaturation of coal seams is most likely related to dismigration (losses into adjacent formations and atmosphere). Finally, we attempt to identify sweet spots for CO2-enhanced coalbed methane (CO2-ECBM) production. The CO2-ECBM is expected to become less effective with increasing depth because the CO2-to-CH4 sorption capacity ratio decreases with increasing temperature and pressure. Furthermore, CO2-ECBM efficiency will decrease with increasing maturity because of the highest sorption capacity ratio and affinity difference between CO2 and CH4 for low mature coals.

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