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Clean Power Generation from the Intractable Natural Coalfield Fires: Turn Harm into Benefit

Shi, B; Su, H; Li, J; Qi, H; Zhou, F; Torero, JL; Chen, Z; (2017) Clean Power Generation from the Intractable Natural Coalfield Fires: Turn Harm into Benefit. Scientific Report , 7 , Article 5302. 10.1038/s41598-017-05622-4. Green open access

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Abstract

The coal fires, a global catastrophe for hundreds of years, have been proved extremely difficult to control, and hit almost every coal-bearing area globally. Meanwhile, underground coal fires contain tremendous reservoir of geothermal energy. Approximately one billion tons of coal burns underground annually in the world, which could generate ~1000 GW per annum. A game-changing approach, environmentally sound thermal energy extraction from the intractable natural coalfield fires, is being developed by utilizing the waste energy and reducing the temperature of coalfield fires at the same time. Based on the Seebeck effect of thermoelectric materials, the temperature difference between the heat medium and cooling medium was employed to directly convert thermal energy into clean electrical energy. By the time of December 2016, the power generation from a single borehole at Daquan Lake fire district in Xinjiang has been exceeded 174.6 W. The field trial demonstrates that it is possible to exploit and utilize the waste heat resources in the treated coal fire areas. It promises a significant impact on the structure of global energy generation and can also promote progress in thermoelectric conversion materials, geothermal exploration, underground coal fires control and other energy related areas.

Type: Article
Title: Clean Power Generation from the Intractable Natural Coalfield Fires: Turn Harm into Benefit
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-05622-4
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-05622-4
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2017. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069544
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