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Evaluating Underground Coal Gasification Technology

Narrator: This is Science Today. Underground coal gasification, or UCG, technology is the process of converting coal and water from coal deposits that may otherwise be unrecoverable, and producing commercial quantities of gas for fuels and hydrocarbon feedstock. Julio Friedman, leader of the Carbon Management Program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says the technology itself has been around a long time.

Friedman: But now there's a resurgence of interest because of the high price of oil, the high price of natural gas, the high price of electricity, but also the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and criteria pollutant emissions.

Narrator: The Lab has recently signed a technical agreement with BP to work on the development of UCG technology - especially to evaluate the feasibility of storing carbon dioxide underground.

Friedman: Our program with BP is designed to develop this capability to test it and validate it in a generic capability, then leading to a full field pilot.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.