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AAPG Bulletin

Abstract

AAPG Bulletin, V. 97, No. 7 (July 2013), P. 10331049.

Copyright copy2013. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1306/12181212061

A new theoretical approach to model sorption-induced coal shrinkage or swelling

Shimin Liu,1 Satya Harpalani2

1Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania; liu_shimin@yahoo.com
2Department of Mining and Mineral Resources Engineering, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois; satya@engr.siu.edu

ABSTRACT

The shrinkage or swelling of coal as a result of gas desorption or adsorption is a well-accepted phenomenon. Its impact on permeability changes has also been recognized for two decades. Its importance has increased significantly because of the potential of coals that are not likely to be mined and depleted or nearly depleted coalbed methane reservoirs to serve as CO2 repositories. This article proposes a new theoretical technique to model the volumetric changes in the coal matrix during gas desorption or adsorption using the elastic properties, sorption parameters, and physical properties of coal. The proposed model is based on the theory of changes in surface energy as a result of sorption. The results show that the proposed model is in excellent agreement with the laboratory volumetric strain data presented in the literature during the last 50 yr. Furthermore, the proposed model can be extended to describe mixed-gas sorption behavior, which can be applied to enhanced coalbed methane and CO2 sequestration operations.

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