Underground Coal GasificationEnvironmental Risks and Benefits

Publication - May 31, 2010 - By Matt McCulloch, Marc Huot, Jeremy Moorhouse

Pembina completed a preliminary review of the environmental risks and benefits of underground coal gasification (UCG). What is UCG? Instead of removing coal from the ground and transporting it to a power plant to be combusted and turned into electricity, UCG operators hope to convert the coal locked underground into a gas, known as synthesis gas or syngas, that can be extracted at the site without mining. The report concludes that a pilot project in Alberta seems like a necessary next step to understand how mitigate the risks of the technology and determine if the considerable benefits can be realized. The pilot would have be developed with the support of the local community.

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