For a first in the United States, a 900-ft (275-m) deep, 6-ft (2-m) thick, swelling, eastern bituminous coal has been gasified successfully in situ. Under the direction of Morgantown Energy Technology Center, the relatively small-scale field test, Pricetown I, affected the equivalent of approximately 735 tons (665 t) of a high-sulfur, high-ash section of the Pittsburgh coal seam near Pricetown, Wetzel County, West Virginia, during the 4-mo burn. A methane rich gas with an average heating value greater than 200 Btu/cf (7450 KJ/m3) was produced at low flow rates during operations to enhance the coal seam permeability by reverse combustion. During the high-flow gasification phase, a gas with an average heating value of 124 Btu/cf (4260 KJ/m3) was produced resulting in an average energy production of 510.9 MMBtu/day (539.1 GJ/d). Initial test results and plans for continued development of this alternative energy source are discussed.

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