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Fuelling the Fire: Underground Coal Gasification and Coal Chemicals

This figure shows the basic outline of the underground coal gasification process

This figure shows the basic outline of the underground coal gasification process. The original caption stated “Underground Coal Gasification involves igniting a coal seam underground and pumping out the partially burned gases that result”.
This figure was taken from the website entitled “Alaska’s Wild Resource Web” and the specific article “Underground Coal Gasification”. Graphic: Bretwood Higman, Ground Truth Trekking via wikimedia

Fuelling the Fire: the chequered history of Underground Coal Gasification and Coal Chemicals around the world was launched today by Friends of the Earth Scotland and Friends of the Earth International. It is a global report with case studies from Australia, South Africa, the US, China and the UK and details the history and environmental impacts of UCG and Coal Chemicals.

Key messages:

  • Underground Coal Gasification would create huge climate change emissions that would be incompatible with a low-carbon future.
  • UCG trials and pilot tests have caused groundwater contamination, air pollution, subsidence and toxic waste products.
  • Coal Chemical projects are hugely polluting in terms of waste and cause unacceptable local environmental impacts form their massive water, coal, land and energy consumption.

The report can be found here: http://www.foei.org/resources/publications/unconventional-coal

The Friends of the Earth Scotland press release is here:
http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/UCG-fuelling-fire-report

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