GIG uncovers secrets of alchemy

Scientists from the Central Mining Institute (GIG) in Katowice finished a pilot test of underground coal gasification which had been conducting since 2007. The study of the researches was to find out about possibilities of underground gasification and to obtain hydrogen as a result. During the Thursday’s press conference, the scientists announced the researches were fully successful but the experiment needs to be continue.

Pilot coal gasification is a part of an international project HUGE (Hydrogen Oriented Underground Coal Gasification for Europe). The experiment was carried out in the belonging to the GIG experimental coal-mine “Barbara” in Mikołów near Katowice. The georeactor located there is a selected part of the coal deposit tens of meters under the ground with about 25 tons of coal. The researchers obtained about 30 percent hydrogen in the experiment which is much more than the scientists expected.

However, a cost-effectiveness of this type of hydrogen extraction is not evaluated yet and it needs to be checked during following attempts. Thereby, the GIG would like to test the underground gasification on a larger scale. Further research on the gasification would be carried out within the framework of the National Center for Research and Development’s project, with cost of approximately PLN 30 million. Next attempts are planned 400 meters below the ground in natural conditions, in one of the mines belonging to the Katowice Coal Holding.

Part of the further researches will also be continue in the Clean Coal Technologies Center which is currently under construction in Katowice.

In the future, gas from coal can be used to produce energy or hydrogen. It can also be used by the chemical industry.

See a video about the GIG’s researches in Euronews >>>