" "CONSIDER TRADITIONAL COAL MINING AND THE MASSIVECOST IT CARRIES.INSTEAD, UCG HAS THE BENEFITSOF A LOWER FOOTPRINT026CLEAN COAL TECHNOLOGYalternative energy source that produces synthesis gas,primarily a mix of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, forcleaner electricity generation, diesel and jet fuelproduction, as well as a host of other products likelubricants and fertilisers.A number of factors make the use of UCG for cleanerenergy solutions a compelling technology. UCG usesdeep, sub-economic, underground coal, without everremoving it from the ground and converts it to a gas.Consider traditional coal mining and aboveground coalgasification and the massive environmental cost theycarry. Instead, UCG has the benefits of a lower carbonand environmental footprint, with lower costs.Globally, coal will continue to fuel nations. UCG,however, uses coal in a cleaner and smarter way. For astart, there is no need to remove the coal from theground. This eliminates environmental concerns, suchSOURCE: LINC ENERGY LTD, 2009SOURCE: BP STATISTICAL REVIEW OF WORLD ENERGY 2006as large scale soil and rock disturbance, and dust, ashand slag. The use of UCG also reduces visual impact,risks of surface water contamination, and the use ofwater as UCG does not dewater the coal seam.Additionally, there is no need for a coal preparationplant or any coal handling infrastructure, and there isno need for any aboveground gasification infrastructure.Compared with traditional coal mining or abovegroundgasification, UCG carries a lower land use and carbonfootprint, whilst still optimising energy extraction.Importantly, the land used for UCG can be returned to its former use once the coal seam beneath isexhausted. There are even indications that agriculturalactivities such as grazing can still occur whilst UCGtakes place below the surface. UCG also has a numberof safety benefits. There is no blasting, use of heavyequipment, or hazards associated with traditional opencut or underground mining.
And the environmental benefits continue even afterthe UCG process delivers synthesis gas to the surface.UCG synthesis gas, when used for gas turbinecombined cycle power generation, provides about a 25per cent4reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, orover a 60 per cent reduction when used with carboncapture when sequestering the carbon dioxide backinto the UCG cavity for storage.UCG synthesis gas used to produce synthetic dieselalso has similar environmental benefits. Linc Energy'sUCG to GTL Chinchilla Demonstration Facility hasproven that a tonne of deep coal can be converted intocleaner diesel at about US$28 per barrel. It is theunique GTL fuel production process that can producediesel and jet fuel with lower emissions.Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and IndustrialResearch Organisation (CSIRO) compared transportfuels in a recent report to the Australian GreenhouseOffice. Diesel produced from UCG synthesis gas wasdeemed to have reduced tailpipe emissions. UCGdiesel was found to contain zero sulphur, 19 per centless carbon monoxide, 35 per cent less fine particulates(PM-10), and 43 per cent less hydrocarbon gases5.What is more impressive with diesel produced fromUCG synthesis gas is that it is considered superiorcompared with conventional diesel. It has near zeroaromatics, and a high cetane number providingexcellent combustion properties. It is the premium fuelfor diesel engines.The case for UCG and extracting energy from coal in aneconomically and more environmentally friendly waygets better as more research is conducted on returningproduced carbon dioxide from the process to theexhausted UCG cavity in a safe manner. A form ofcarbon capture and storage (CCS), the sequestration ofcarbon dioxide into previously used UCG cavities isgaining momentum.CLEAN COAL TECHNOLOGY027Above: Linc Energy CEOPeter Bond sees agreener future in cleanercoal technologyBelow: UCG synthesis gasis an ideal feedstock forthe GTL process toproduce cleaner dieseland jet fuelBIOGRAPHYPeter Bond is Chief Executive Officer of Linc EnergyLtd. He began his career in mining thirty years ago,after training as a metallurgist at BHP. At the age of 23,his entrepreneurial streak shone and he personallyraked and hand cleaned over 1,000 tonnes of coal,which he sold to a brick company for AU$17,000. Afteryears in the coal industry, Mr Bond went on to own hisown coal company. Since then he has been involved intransforming underperforming companies into valuableassets, in both Australia and overseas. From late 2004,and in just three years, Bond has transformed LincEnergy from a small start-up, to a successful IPO on theAustralian Securities Exchange (ASX) - and ontobecoming an AU$2 billion ASX200 company. Mr Bondis also a member of the BRW Australian Rich List and is known for his philanthropic efforts.There are a number of studies underway in Germanyand the United Kingdom on the combined use of UCGand CCS for a cleaner world. The UCG Partnership,based in the United Kingdom, says UCG combinedwith CCS is a potential route to carbon abatement from coal6. If governments and world climate bodiesseek reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, then technologies that offer cleaner solutions need tobe supported.The UCG cavity is more than capable of absorbingcarbon dioxide. After UCG, the remaining carbon in the coal seam is more permeable, enabling the cavity to store up to two thousand times more carbon than traditional means of CCS. UCG combinedwith CCS suggests the process can be carbon neutral. Linc Energy is developing a UCG and CCS program.If technologies like UCG and CCS reach thecommercial platform they deserve, coal-rich nations,amid the discussions on reducing emissions, areensured economic stability and energy security for theforeseeable future. With US$28 per barrel clean fuelavailable from coal, UCG has to be seen as the energyalternative of the future. n1 Coal Chapter, Survey of Energy Resources 2007,World Energy Council.2 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2006.3 Underground Coal Gasification Chapter, Survey ofEnergy Resources 2007, World Energy Council.4 Compared with the most efficient, supercritical,pulverised, Australian, coal-fired power stations usingmined coal. Not including sequestration.5 Beer et al, undated, Comparison of Transport Fuels,CSIRO Final Report to the Australian GreenhouseOffice on the Stage 2 Study of Life Cycle Analysis ofAlternative Fuels for Heavy Vehicles.6 www.ucgp.com/key-facts/clean-coal/ - accessed 19May 2010.