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Detecting Natural Gas in Coal Is Subject of Proposed ASTM International Coal and Coke Standard

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Natural gas from unconventional sources, such as from coal beds (coal bed methane), has become a common target for exploration in recent years. Coal gas demand continues to grow and is expected to provide about 10 percent of U.S. production in the future. However, there are no standards available that describe procedures used to determine the gas content of North American coal and the most commonly accepted guide to the subject, which is now about 10 years old, does not include methods currently used for low-rank coal.

In order to fill this need, ASTM International Committee D05 on Coal and Coke is developing a standard, WK8750, Practice for Determination of Gas Content of Coal-Direct Desorption Method, that will potentially be used by government, industry, and research laboratories to establish procedures for equipment construction, sample preparation and testing procedure, and method of calculation. The proposed standard is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee D05.21 on Methods of Analysis.

According to Peter Warwick, U.S. Geological Survey, the proposed new standard will describe methods for the determination of the gas content of coal by desorption, using samples obtained by surface drilling and from underground mines. Warwick invites interested parties to participate in the ongoing development of WK8750.

For further technical information, contact Peter Warwick, U. S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va. (phone: 703/648-6469; Committee D05 will meet Oct. 16-19, at the October Committee Week in Dallas, Texas. For membership or meeting details, contact Scott Orthey, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9730;


Release #7222