The pilot will be located on the Eastern Overburden Dump (EOD) at the Hazelwood Mine. The EOD is an area where excavated material from the mine has been placed, prior to being revegetated.
The pilot will involve the drilling of two vertical bore holes into the coal seam. A horizontal bore hole is then drilled to connect the verticals and create a U-shaped circulation loop in the coal seam. Groundwater treated with a nutrient media and seeded with naturally sourced fermentative microbes is circulated through the bores to create a carbon rich solution. For more information on this process refer to Our Technology.
A series of monitoring bores will also be drilled along both sides of the loop to monitor the coal seam and check if there has been any movement of the carbon solution from the loop outwards into nearby areas. Verso Energy does not expect any movement of fluids away from the bore to occur, but monitoring bores will allow us to confirm this.
Above Ground Plant
Above ground a small plant will be installed that contains the following equipment:
- Storage tanks containing the coal converting microbes that will be pumped into the bore to convert coal into soluble forms of carbon;
- Water treatment equipment to extract methane from the carbon solution, and clean the remaining water for reuse in the transport of microbes back into the bore;
- Gas storage vessel and a closed flare which will be used to burn off any gas that is produced;
- A laboratory that will be used to monitor the carbon and gas produced through the process;
- An on-site office.
The pilot is expected to run for approximately 9 months once operational. Work will commence once all relevant government approvals have been obtained. Once complete, the bores will be decommissioned, the above ground plant removed, and the site returned to its original condition.