A study of laboratory testing and calculation methods for coal sorption isotherms
Measurement of the volume of gas adsorbed per unit mass of coal with increasing pressure at a constant temperature produces an isotherm that describes the gas storage capacity of this type of coal. The accurate testing and interpretation of coal sorption isotherm plays an important role in the areas of coal mine methane drainage, coalbed methane (CBM) reservoir resource assessment, enhanced coalbed methane (ECBM) recovery, as well as the carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration in deep coal seams or similar geological formations. Different coal sorption isotherm testing apparatus and associated calculation methods are critically reviewed and presented in this paper. These include both volumetric and gravimetric based methods, as well as experimental sorption tests with confining stress and direction sorption methods. The volumetric techniques utilise experimental apparatus with sample cell and injection pump and that with both sample cell and reference cell. Whilst the gravimetric approachesinclude methods with sample cell and suspension magnetic balance and that with both sample cell and reference cell. Different testing methods are compared and discussed in this study. A unique in-house-built coal sorption isotherm testing apparatus at the University of Wollongong was presented together with the calculation method, procedures and experimental results. The isotherm results can be calculated by both Soave-Redlich-Kwong (SRK) equation and calibration cure methods which can be used directly to convert the volume of adsorbed gas in different test conditions to standard condition (NTP). © 2013 The Editorial Office of Journal of Coal Science and Engineering (China) and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.