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January/February 2011
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Gas Content of Coal

Natural gas from unconventional sources such as coal beds has become a common target of exploration. Now, a new ASTM standard is the first to describe a method for determining the gas content of coal from such sources by desorption, using samples obtained by surface drilling.

D7569, Practice for Determination of Gas Content of Coal — Direct Desorption Method, was developed by Subcommittee D05.21 on Methods of Analysis, part of ASTM International Committee D05 on Coal and Coke.

“The standard will potentially be used by government, industry and research laboratories to establish procedures for equipment construction, sample preparation and methods of calculation to determine the amount of gas expected to be found in subsurface coal beds,” says Peter Warwick, research geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, and a member of D05. “D7569 is an important procedure for establishing a resource base for investment and development.”

Warwick also notes that coal gas demand continues to grow and is expected to provide about 10 percent of U.S. production in the future.

CONTACT

Technical Information: Peter Warwick, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va.

Phone: 703-648-6469

ASTM Staff: Scott Orthey

Phone: 610-832-9730