Analysis of Risk Factors for Underground Coal Gasification

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to determine the environmental impacts of underground gasification on the population and to analyze the risk of underground coal gasification (UCG) activities using selected risk assessment methods. Coal gas is a regular part of coal deposits and its extraction also allows the use of coal deposits that cannot be extracted by traditional methods. These technologies bring both positive and negative aspects. The paper points out the risk analysis, hazard identification and assessment during the operation of UCG technology using a risk graph and a risk matrix. Identified risks to workers that cannot be reduced should be taken into consideration and appropriate safeguard should be used. For each risk, it is necessary to inform employees about regular education and training. From worldwide experience with this technology, it is possible to analyze risks in Slovakia. Actual gasification produces polluting gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide, hydrogen sulphide, nitrogen oxides, tar and ash, and creates a risk that may occur on and under the surface of the site depending on the geological and hydrogeological structure of the deposits. Possible measures to mitigate the adverse effects are proposed for the implementation of this technology. Coal is still one of the main domestic primary energy sources. Currently, only 5 out of 19 deposits in the Slovak Republic are used. Underground gasification could increase the use of Slovak coal and brown coal deposits.

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