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Air for clean coal

As part of a drive to economically convert Queensland’s vast “stranded” coal deposits into ultra clean liquid fuels, Linc Energy is well advanced on its work towards bringing together two proven production processes – Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) and Coal To Liquid (CTL).

At one coal tenement in Queensland, Linc has recently installed three Boge SL481 screw compressors where Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) is underway.

Mariano Minotti, the Project Engineer at Linc Energy comments “Compressed air forms an integral part of the UCG process. When this new site was chosen for UCG it was agreed that investing in a new compressed air system would be more economical than hiring equipment. Our local compressed air supplier, Premiair Compressor Services Pty in NSW, introduced us to Boge. Although the brand is still relatively new in Australia, we were impressed with this German engineered product and its competitive price.”

The gasification is done in situ by injecting high pressure air as oxidant into the previously ignited coal seam. The Boge SL481 screw compressors constantly supply air at 10 to 12 bar to keep the process running. The chemical reactions underground produce a syngas that is then collected on the surface through “production” wells. This syngas is then cleaned up and used in a Gas To Liquids (GTL) demo plant to produce liquid fuels (Diesel) through the Fischer-Tropsch process.

Minotti concludes; “We only recently installed the compressors and we are still in the process of ramping up production; however, so far we have been impressed with the product with no operational problems to report.”

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