Underground Recovery, LLC Granted Patent for Innovative Process that Generates Electricity from Coal and Other Fossil Fuels without Carbon Emissions

Fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas have been, are, and will remain some of the most abundant energy sources in the world, especially in the US. Despite the benefits of fossil fuel recovery — such as underground coal mining and combustion, and oil and natural gas drilling — and above-ground combustion for power plants, both historically present a threat to the environment and produce undesirable carbon dioxide emissions, greenhouse gas, and ash.

Coal is integral to many of the US’s state economies and is an industry these states can’t afford to lose. Coal is particularly plentiful in Kentucky; as of 2012, coal generates 41% of the world’s electricity, and in 2013, coal generated 93% of all Kentucky’s electricity. Kentucky is the third largest producer of coal in the US, and one of the largest exporters of coal to Asian markets.

Many projects in various stages of commercialization are under way to either process the above-ground released carbon dioxide or sequester underground carbon dioxide, all adding to the cost and environmental impact of generating additional electricity. However, the Lexington-based research and development company Underground Recovery, LLC has a reasonable solution for retrieving underground fossil fuels.

Since 2011, Underground Recovery has been devoted to environmentally friendly and cost effective recovery of energy and metals from underground resources. The company was granted a US patent in July for its innovative coal combustion process, which can eliminate atmospheric release of carbon dioxide emissions and ash. This new process may be a tremendous boon to coal industries in Kentucky and throughout the world, as it provides an economically feasible alternative to the current process of coal, oil, and natural gas mining, followed by above ground combustion and power generation with subsequent under- and above-ground carbon sequestration.

As a high-risk project, if viable, a successful implementation of this process, especially when coupled with hydraulic fracturing, can be ”game changing “ by lowering costs of energy environmental development, increasing fossil fuel reserves, and minimizing the negative environmental impacts of the atmospheric release of GHG, like CO2 and ash.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das

July 28, 2014

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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“In the Midwest, Coal Stages a Comeback” – Wall Street Journal, 5 May 2013

NA-BW254_ILLCOA_G_20130505202706Over the last couple years, coal use in the US has fallen, as more companies are instead choosing to dig for natural gas. However, coal mining in the Midwest is only increasing: this year, coal production has risen by 8%, and natural gas output has decreased by 8%.

While the US’s 2012 coal production declined by 7% from 2011 — Wyoming’s Power River Basin and the Central Appalachia mines getting hit the most — coal production in the Illinois Basin, comprised of southern Illinois, Indiana, and western Kentucky, is on the rise. Coal manufacturing in the Illinois Basin grew by 10% in 2012 and is set to continue growing over the next several years, overtaking Central Appalachia’s output for the first time.

Mining in the Midwest is generally low-cost: Illinois Basin coal is much more attainable and thicker than Central Appalachia coal, and costs half as much to mine. Yet, the Midwest has long been disregarded for coal mining, since the area’s coal contains high volumes of sulfur. That’s changing, as new equipment, called scrubbers, eliminate the sulfur, which allows Midwestern coal to meet emissions standards. Adding to the low-cost nature of the Illinois Basin is the fact that a majority of the miners are nonunion – only 6% belong to the United Mine Workers of America.

Illinois mines are anticipated to manufacture 56 million tons of coal, a 70% increase from 2010′s 33 million tons. In comparison, West Virginia mines are anticipated to decline from 92 million tons in 2010 to 79 million tons in 2013, a 14% decrease.

Type and quantity of coal used for power production will vary depending upon mining, combustion and treatment of post-combustion coal using gas technologies, such as scrubbing, storage or subsequent processing. Furthermore, geographical region of mining, transportation and utilization will also impact coal utilization.

Nonetheless coal will remain a dominant source of fossil fuel for global production of electricity for the foreseeable future.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

May 19, 2013

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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