Effects of CO2 storage in coal on coal properties

Tshifhiwa Maphala, Nicola J. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Unlike other storage options, CO2 storage in coal seams is still in its infancy and requires advanced research to address the number of unknowns. One of the many questions that still need to be answered concerns the long term effects of storing CO2 in coal, specifically on the structure and properties of the coal. Most studies on coal structural changes have been conducted over a short period of adsorption (hours or 2-3 days) and at low pressures (1-20 bar). Available literature has shown that the volumetric strains are a function of the local petrographic composition, and, in general, a coal's response to CO2 sorption is based on the coal petrographic composition. The aim of this study was to determine any molecular structural and physical changes that may occur in coal following long term exposure (up to 6 months) to CO2 under subcritical conditions (up to 42 bar). Inertinite-rich coal particles have a higher microporous surface area than vitrinite-rich particles of the same rank, as demonstrated by BET analysis. XRD results on the preand post-sorption coal samples demonstrated that CO 2 sorption in coal causes some structural changes. The structural changes were found to be different for coals of different maceral composition, confirming the initial hypothesis. The coal samples that were exposed to CO 2 over longer periods of time (6 months) displayed a more pronounced change in coal structure than those that were exposed for a shorter period of time (14 days). Volumetric sorption studies demonstrated that CO2 treated vitrinite-rich particles have a greater change in sorption properties than inertinite-rich particles. The study provides an insight into the chemical and physical changes caused by sorption of CO2 into coal, and could be used for modelling CO2-coal interactions, and for assisting in CO2-coal uptake calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-438
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy Procedia
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event6th Trondheim Conference on CO2 Capture, Transport and Storage, TCCS 2012 - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 16 Jun 201218 Jun 2012


  • Adsorption
  • Coal structure
  • Inertinite
  • Vitrinite
  • XRD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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