Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS947608 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 25, 1910
Filing dateDec 27, 1906
Priority dateDec 27, 1906
Publication numberUS 947608 A, US 947608A, US-A-947608, US947608 A, US947608A
InventorsAnson G Betts
Original AssigneeAnson G Betts
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of utilizing buried coal.
US 947608 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



4Patented; Jan. 25,1%0.


i man @alweer N @time arisen ei. nn'rfrs, or maar, new voran;

METHOD OF `lITIIIJIZIllI'lGtv BURJIED CUAL Specication of Lettere Patent.

@Patented dan. 25, ldld.

Application led December 27', 1906. Serial No. 349,606.

To all whom 'it may concern: K

Be it known that I, Anson Gianotten Berre, a citizen of the United States, residing at Troy, in the county ot Rensselaer and State of New York, have invented a certain new and useful Method ot Utilizing Burled Coal, ot which the following is a specification.

'llhis invention relates to a method ofutili'zing the coal measures and coal remalnlng in worked-out mines. Hitherto coal' has been dug and brought to the surface for utilization at the expense of much sweat and loss of life.

rlhe object of m invention isto obviate these sacrifices an also to provide for the utilization of coal seams toothin or too poor `for commercial use by present methods.

Other objects will ap ear in the following description of my met od. 0

Figure l is a vertiealcross sectlon of an arrangement and location of p lant 1n carrying out my invention.- Flg. 21sa plan vlew of a similar arrangement. Flg. 3 1s a plan view of an arrangement for utilizing the coal in a workedJout mine. Fig. l is a view \in vertical cross section of an arrangement of plant l may use in carrying out my invention. Figs. 5 and 6 are views in vertical 'cross section otl still another arrangement of lant, Fig. 6 being a section on the line A in Fig. 5. 4 y y It is well known thatcoal may be .ga-sined that is, converted into combustible gases' by combustion with insutlicient air for complete combustion, and if the right proportion of'steam or water be used w1th the air, lthe coal can be gasified without causin 0 an excessivelyhigh temperature in the coal or in the escaping gases, and the gas may be made so that-it contains as much as 80% of the total heat of the coal, all that it is then necessary to do being to mix it with the proper amount of air for complete combus tion. Such gases are a more valuable and convenient fuel than the coal from which they are produced, and are especially suit able for running gas engines. 'llhe great advantage ojt gas over coal lies in its easy transportation to where it is used, and it roduces no ashes, besides all which lan even lieat can be maintained without attention.

llitherto these gases have been produced by minin coal and gasifying it in a producer.

coal where it lies underground, and l will n ow describe methods for carryingout my invention.

'lwo shafts, or a shaft and bore hole, may be provided to the coal seam, and an air assage through the seam provided, either y driving from one shaft to the other or the bore hole is sunk to the workings, it such does not. already exist. A fire is started at the bottom of one shaft and a supply of air pumped down and water or steam alsol supplied, when gas analogous to producer gas comes out of the other shaft, and can be used for running gas engines, smelting works, glass works, ring boilers, etc.

The tar and ammonia produced can bel collected in any suitable way.

My invention `contemplates the use of several dierent drifts in the coal with separate air supplies, so that the combustion rate may be regulated by the use of just the right number ot liresto give the best results,as well as the use ot crooked tire passages, both of which will aid in completely burning out a given area.

'lhe advantage of several holes to the surface through'which the gases may be drawn out, is apparent. lll air cracks allow air to. come in near a gas outlet and too much free oxygen comes out in the gas, by operating another gas outletat a greater distance from the airintlow, obviously a greater degree of combustion may be obtained. l

As the removal ot' coal from an area may cause subsidence and open cracks through which the valuable gases may escape to the surface of the ground and' be lost, my inven tion contemplates when desirable the use of suction at the gas outlet at least, in order rather to draw air in through such cracks instead ot forcing gas out through them. 'lhe subsidence is useful however 1n that it tends to till the space lett vacant where the coal has been burned out, except near the tace .of the coal, which circumstance causes a large part of the air to pass near the face of the coal.

Other methods of carrying out the invention muy be used, in which it is required only to use one borehole to the coal. After the bore-hole is completed, a pipe is let down to the coal through thebore-hole for a sup ply of air, the coal ignited and thereafter a current of air forced in, and gas taken out. After so large an area is burned out that the action is4 not satisfactory, another bore-hole may be let down to near the edge of the burned area, through which air is supplied thereafter instead of through the air pipe, until that too ceases to work well, when other holes may be put down.

Another method consists in sinking a shaft nearly down to the coal or beyond, and' drifting from the shaft either above the coal or better below it, and boring air holes to the coalfrom the drift, where they are required. The gas produced in this method to be drawn orforced preferably to the .surface through a bore-hole or another shaft. It is obvious that if air without water or steam is used to gasify the coal, intensely high temperatures may be obtained, suflicient to fuse some rocks, and in this way I contemplate being able to melt rock down to fill up burned-out spaces, and form illars to support the ground so that the subsidence or caving that occurs withthe removal of the coal, need not extend to a sufficient height above the workings to make open cracks to the surface for the escape of gas,

or at least to prevent it to a large extent.

For the greatest economy of fuel in making gas water should be brought to the burning coall as well as air. Ifl suflicient water is not supplied by natural agencies, it may be passed in the gaseous state with the air supply.

The chemical reactions are as follows: The first action of t-he air on carbon isto form CO2 with considerable evolution of heat. The ,CO2 reacts with hot carbon fu-rther on to form CO with absorption of heat, about of theI total heat obtainable appearing` as a result of these two reactions, and the other two-thirds being capable of utilization at any desired point, by simply burning the gas. When water is supphed with .the air, it Vis decomposed by hot car# bon with the formation of combustible gases, increasing yet considerably the proportion of the heat-still remaining in the as for use in the furnace or engine, etc. uch gases are very valuable for many purposes, although not as rich as natural gas. I may produce gases having higher heating values morel like natural gas, in the following way:

- 'lhe hot gases from the gasification of the coal on passing through or near a good deal more coal, will heat this coal, and tend to coke it, producing large quantities of a rich gas, mixed with the heatinggas. After this coal gets well baked, it will not be possible to get these rich gases in quantity any more from -that particular coalbut by operating a number of subterranean lires 1n different stages of completion, various qua-lities ofgas may be `obtained and applied to various uses for which each may be espe-` cially economical.

Having reference to the accompanying r ing 34 is due to t ing plant 4, operated electrically by a cur."

rent carried over the electric conductor 5. The air goes through the pipe 6 then through the shaft 3, and passage 7, cut in the coal to,

the shaft 8, whence the resulting gas passes to the power plant 9, being connected with the shaft bythe pipe 10. The power plant 9 may contain gas cleaning apparatus, gas,

engine and dynamo, and transmit beside cleaned gas, the larger part of the electric power produced to a deslrable point of consumption, and a small part to the air pump in the pumping plant. The well 11, collects tar, which may be pumped out through a pipe 12, let down the shaft.

In Fig. 2, I have shown four shafts 13, 14, 15 and 16, driven to the coal seam, and drifts 17 and 18, connecting the bottom of shafts 13 and 16, and 14 and 15 respectively. The plant 19 may contain electric generating machinery driven by gas engines, and consuine the gas produced in generating useful electric energy or the gas may be cleaned and pumped to distant points for consumption. The plant 19 also supplies air through the air p1 e 20 to shafts 13, and 14, the valves 21 an 22 being used for cutting the air supply from either one at choice. The gas gcnerated under ground is delivered to the electric plant by the pipev 23. The valves 24 and 25 serve the purpose of regulating the direction of the air and gaseous currentl underground either toward shaft 15 or .16 as desired.

In Fig. 3, I have indicated in dotted lines a partially worked-out coal mine and two shafts 26 and 27, one for the supply of air, and the other to carry out the gas produced. In Fig. 4, I have shown a coal seam 30, reached by the bore-hole 31, down which has been passed an air and steam pipe 32, while the top of the bore-hole is provided with a delivery pi e 33 for gas. The openhe gasification of coal by the air and steam, and widens continually as the coal is gasified, a side air jet 35, being provided to blow the air toward the coal, while the air jet may be turned in any horizontal direction by simply turning the airpipe. After the opening gets too large for successful action, and reaches the line 36,'

lent purpose as still uhm ned gasiication are supplied throughithe Working 42, through any one or ones of the bore lo es 43, 44 and 45 according to ycircumstances, the gasiication of the coal taking -place in the seam as usual While the useful supply holes 43 and 45 and steam pipe 48,

another hole 50, also for air and steam or Water supply. The drift 42, is reached by the shaft 51, protected by ,iron 52, and brick 53, Where it passes the coal. The top of the shaft is inclosed with a building 54,v with air supply pipe 55. On closing the door 56, air passes down the shaft, and is delivered to the coal through the bore-holes 43, 45, 50, etc.

The term coal as used by me in the claims includes the various varieties of mineral fuel.

I use the term unmined coal in the claims in the sense that the coal has not been removed from its original position. If passages are driven ythrough the coal for example, the coal remaining after removing the passages is then to be regarded fornthe presthough-. ex-` posed. y What I claim as newangd' by Letters Patent, is: p 1. The process of uti lzlng desire to secure unmined `coa-1 `the coal, and conducting od which consists in supplyingfvoxidizinggas i thereto, gasifying the coal, and utilizing the gas produced.

2. The process of Working unmined coal which consists in providing an open passage 40 from the surface to the coal, through the coal and back to the surface, supplying to the coal acurrent of oxidizing gas to gasify t e gas thus produced.

3. rllhe process of utilizing coal seams, Which cons-ists in forming a` passage to the coal in the seam, supplying oxidizing gas to the coal through such passage and causing the gas to pas througlra plurality of passages in the coal, whereby the coal is gasified, and withdrawing' the gas produced thereby.

4. The process of utilizing unmined coal which consists in mining out part, and gasifying remaining coal by conducting air 0r equivalent gas thereto, which gasies the coal, and collecting the combustible gases resulting therefrom. l 4

5. 'The process of Working unmined coal which consists in supplying oxidizing gas thereto, gasifying the coal and removing the gas at a less pressure than atmospheric `pressure at the-level of the gas outlet from the coal.

In testimony whereof, I have signed my name to this specication in4 the presence of two subscribing Witnesses. y


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2466945 *Feb 21, 1946Apr 12, 1949In Situ Gases IncGeneration of synthesis gas
US2584605 *Apr 14, 1948Feb 5, 1952Frederick SquiresThermal drive method for recovery of oil
US2595979 *Jan 25, 1949May 6, 1952Texas CoUnderground liquefaction of coal
US2695163 *Dec 9, 1950Nov 23, 1954Stanolind Oil & Gas CoMethod for gasification of subterranean carbonaceous deposits
US2786660 *Dec 29, 1952Mar 26, 1957Phillips Petroleum CoApparatus for gasifying coal
US2841375 *Mar 3, 1954Jul 1, 1958Svenska Skifferolje AktiebolagMethod for in-situ utilization of fuels by combustion
US3506309 *May 16, 1968Apr 14, 1970Hans Joachim Von HippelMethod and system for gasifying underground deposits of coal
US3563606 *Mar 24, 1969Feb 16, 1971St Joe Minerals CorpMethod for in-situ utilization of fuels by combustion
US3865186 *Jul 17, 1972Feb 11, 1975Hippel Hans Joach VonMethod of and system for gasifying underground deposits of coal
US3999607 *Jan 22, 1976Dec 28, 1976Exxon Research And Engineering CompanyRecovery of hydrocarbons from coal
US4018481 *Mar 8, 1976Apr 19, 1977In Situ Technology, Inc.Gasification of coal in situ
US4029360 *Apr 2, 1976Jun 14, 1977Occidental Oil Shale, Inc.Method of recovering oil and water from in situ oil shale retort flue gas
US4057293 *Jul 12, 1976Nov 8, 1977Garrett Donald EProcess for in situ conversion of coal or the like into oil and gas
US4069867 *Dec 17, 1976Jan 24, 1978The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Department Of EnergyCyclic flow underground coal gasification process
US4083402 *Feb 17, 1976Apr 11, 1978Roza Ivanovna AntonovaMethod of underground gasification of a coal bed
US4089372 *Nov 23, 1976May 16, 1978In Situ Technology, Inc.Methods of fluidized production of coal in situ
US4228856 *Feb 26, 1979Oct 21, 1980Reale Lucio VProcess for recovering viscous, combustible material
DE3140027A1 *Oct 8, 1981Apr 29, 1982Pierre LedentMethod of exploiting a coal deposit by the underground gasification of coal
DE3140027C2 *Oct 8, 1981Sep 4, 1986Inst Dev Gazeific SouterraineTitle not available
Cooperative ClassificationY10S48/06, E21C41/24