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At least 60% of Montana’s vast coal resources lie more than 500 feet below the surface and cannot be accessed using conventional mining methods. However, new technologies such as In Situ or Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) make our “deep coal” resources economically attractive.
UCG is a proven method of gasifying deep, unmineable coal seams and capturing their energy content—in the form of product gases—at the surface. It is a “clean coal” process which holds many advantages over conventional coal-fired power plants and surface gasification:
The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology is currently involved in research to identify and study eastern Montana coal seams to determine their suitability for use in the UCG process.
This project is partially funded by the Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology (MBRCT). All data and interpretations are preliminary and subject to change without notice.