Naka, Ryosuke (Hokkaido University) | Tatekawa, Takuto (Hokkaido University) | Kodama, Jun-ichi (Hokkaido University) | Sugawara, Takayuki (Hokkaido University) | Itakura, Ken-ichi (Muroran Institute of Technology) | Hamanaka, Akihiro (Kyushu University) | Deguchi, Gota (NPO Underground Resources Innovation Network)
Underground Coal Gasification is expected to be efficient technique for coal energy recovery from deep or complex coal seam since directional drilling technique is advancing in these days. Authors have been performing small-scale UCG model tests to clear gasification and combustion process in UCG. Then, we found that radial cracks were initiated from the cavity formed in the artificial coal seam. Understanding mechanism of the crack initiation is important for clarification of the detail process of combustion and gasification and assessment for environmental risks. In this study, thermal stress analysis was performed on the small-scale UCG model tests to consider the initiation mechanism of the cracks by assuming that combustion and gasification of coal were progressing through the following three processes which are often observed in coal carbonization: (A) thermal expansion, (B) softening and melting and (C) thermal contraction. It was found that tensile stress was induced in the vicinity of the cavity in the tangential direction in process C. Direction of principal stress in the coal was almost parallel to tangential or radial direction of the cavity and the magnitude of it exceeded coal tensile strength. It was also found that tensile stress zone was extended into deeper coal seam with increase in temperature and time and compressive stress zone was formed outside of the tensile stress zone. It can be considered that the radial cracks initiated at the surface of the cavity since tangential tensile stress exceeded tensile strength of coal. Then, radial cracks were arrested at the boundary of tensile stress zone and compressive stress zone after they were propagating in coal seam.
Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) is a technique to use coal energy more efficiently and cheaply. In UCG, oxidant is injected into underground through an injection well to gasify coal seam, and syngas is recovered from a production well (Fig. 1). It is expected that UCG increases available amount of coal energy because even low-grade, complex and deep coal can be used by UCG.
It is pointed out that UCG has risks of surface subsidence and groundwater pollution because cracks are likely to initiate in coal seam by combustion and gasification. Therefore, clarification of initiation and growth mechanisms of the cracks is significant for stability assessment of ground as well as assessing environmental risks.
We performed small-scale UCG model tests on massive coal and crushed coal samples to clear gasification and combustion process in UCG. It was found that radical cracks were initiated in an artificial coal seam made by massive coal as well as crushed coal (Fig. 2 (Kodama et al., 2016)). Similar radial cracks were also observed in large-scale UCG model test (NPO Underground Resources Innovation Network, 2016).
Pipe-roofing technology has been widely used to develop larger or more complicated underground spaces in urban cities in Japan. Rapid installation of roof pipes plays an important role in reducing underground construction cost and improving construction safety. Pipe-roofing has been attracting more attention to engineers and is one of the auxiliary construction and temporally support methods with less disturbing surrounding ground. However, ground conditions are very complicated and unknown and also a lot of underground utilities and facilities on the surface have been already constructed in the project sites. Cutting tool wear or failure due to hard rock layer or hard stones such as cobbles and boulders leads to tunneling work stoppage and in some cases, unforeseen obstacles make tunneling stop.
This paper describes the recent pipe-roofing technology and the development of a micro-tunnel boring machine (MTBM), considering ground conditions. A newly developed MTBM shows many outstanding features in pipe-roofing under difficult ground conditions.
Our society depends very much on infrastructures such as roads, railroads, gas, electric power, water, sewer system, communication line, and so on. Sewage coverage has already reached 78% in Japan, and the market for constructing the sewage system is saturated especially in urban areas (Matsui et al., 2015). A new trend in this field is urban renewal, utilizing more underground spaces. Required underground spaces are becoming much larger or much more complicated shape. However, underground in urban areas is already congested with many utilities as well as many buildings on the surface. In order to keep ground stability during construction of underground spaces, pipe-roofing technology has been used at the project sites these days. Ground conditions and used construction system play an important role in reducing the construction cost and improving safety.
Unfortunately fully understanding the ground conditions is very difficult or impossible in spite of pre-geological survey. Difficult ground conditions, machine troubles, or unexpected obstructions in the ground sometimes stop the tunneling operation.
This paper describes the recent pipe-roofing technology and the development of a micro-tunnel boring machine (MTBM) used in pipe-roofing considering ground conditions.
2. Pipe-roofing using a micro-tunnel boring machine (MTBM)
Fig. 1 shows an example of pipe-roofing works that before constructing an underpass beneath the existing freeway, a lot of pipes are installed to control surface settlement or ground failure during the underpass construction afterward. After pipe installation, the installed pipes are filled with concrete in order to reinforce the strength of the pipe roof structure. Now, it is recognized that pipe-roofing is one of auxiliary construction and temporally support methods without severe ground settlement or collapsing surrounding ground. Currently, underground spaces such as tunnels, subway stations, pedestrian underpasses etc., in urban areas are larger and more complicated shape and constructed near existing facilities and structures both in the underground and on the ground surface. Therefore, pipe-roofing has been attracting close attention of engineers as a supplementary construction method.
Shimada, Hideki (Kyushu University) | Wahyudi, Sugeng (Kyushu University) | Asano, Satoru (Kyushu University) | Maehara, Kazuki (Kyushu University) | Sasaoka, Takashi (Kyushu University) | Hamanaka, Akihiro (Kyushu University)
In recent years, demand for infrastructure development is increasing due to satisfy the high rates of economic growth in Indonesia. Therefore, it is desired to introduce the chemical grouting which is widely used in Japan as ground improvement in underground construction. The chemical grouting constructions have been prohibited since the accidents, because of polymeric chemicals pollution. Considering it, in order to reduce environmental issues, sodium silicate chemicals as lowest toxicity material is considered in the chemical grouting. Furthermore, there is no study about sodium silicate chemicals in Indonesia. Hence, in this paper, applicability of the chemical grouting of sodium silicate chemicals in Indonesia is discussed from the aspects of its functions. In this study, the chemical grouts were injected into the samples of Indonesian sands. After solidification of the chemical grouts, permeability and strength of the samples have been measured by falling the head hydraulic conductivity test and UCS test. As the conclusion, the study shows that chemical grouting is applicable to improve Indonesian sand.
Infrastructure development in Indonesia has been evolving to an advanced level by solving complex problems. In the infrastructure development area, construction work is increasing along with government expenditure budget. Infrastructure projects such as train railways, highways, ports and tunnels are required to strengthen effective support for countermeasures for construction of the project in Indonesia.
Since 1950, the demand of chemical grouting material, such as acrylamide chemical grouting, were increased for soil stabilization in all around the World, including Japan and Indonesia, owing to the ability to increase load-bearing capacity, arrest settlement and lateral movement of foundations, and control the flow of water in earthwork engineering projects (Fig. 1). However, a series of environmental issues have arisen in the use of this type of chemical grouting. In 1974, it has been reported that acrylamide chemical grouting contaminated citizen’s water source, which cause several people suffered from drink the water. One year later, in 1975, a same case was happened in Indonesia. These cases urged the government of Indonesia to issue a policy of banning the use of chemical grouting material for any construction and/or engineering works in Indonesia.
Hamanaka, Akihiro (Kyushu University) | Itakura, Ken-ichi (Muroran Institute of Technology) | Su, Fa-qiang (Henan Polytechnic University) | Deguchi, Gota (Underground Resources Innovation Network) | Kodama, Jun-ichi (Hokkaido University)
Underground coal gasification (UCG) is a process of producing combustible gases by the in-situ conversion of coal into gaseous products. Coal resources abandoned under the ground for either technical or economic reasons can be recovered with economically and less environmental impacts by UCG; therefore, this technology is regarded as a clean coal technology. UCG has several advantages of low investments, high efficiency, and high benefits compared to conventional coal gasification. However, some environmental risks such as gas leakage, surface subsidence, and underground water pollution are difficult to control because the process is invisible. The reactor in UCG is unstable and expands continuously due to fracturing activity caused by coal combustion. It is, therefore, considered that acoustic emission (AE) is an effective tool to monitor the fracturing activities and visualize the inner part of coal. For this study, UCG model experiments were conducted using coal blocks of 0.55 × 0.60 × 2.74 m to discuss the applicability of AE monitoring for the estimation of the crack generations during UCG process and the extent of the gasification area. Temperatures were also monitored because the crack generations were strongly related to thermal stress occurred by coal combustion and heat transfer. The monitoring results of AE agreed with the measured data of temperatures and the gasification area; the source location of AE was detected around the region temperature increased and the gasification area. Additionally, the gasified coal amount can be predicted by using the data of product gas. Therefore, AE monitoring combined with the prediction of reacted coal amount are expected to be a useful tool as monitoring system of the gasifier in the underground.
Underground coal gasification (UCG) is a technique to extract energy from coal in the form of heat energy and combustible gases through the chemical reactions in the underground gasifier. This technique enables to utilize coal resources that remain unrecoverable in underground due to either technological or economic reasons. Most coal mining in Japan was closed by 2001 because of complicated geological conditions for mining development and high prices of domestic coal. However, abundant unused coal resources remain underground, but they are not recoverable because of technical and economic reasons. Such coal resources are estimated to be 30 billion tons. For that reason, UCG has a great potential to recover vast amounts of energy from these coal resources.