04776638 is referenced by 299 patents and cites 13 patents.

A method for the electro-thermal and electrochemical underground conversion of coal into oil and by-products comprises the steps of inserting an underground probe into a bore hole until the probe is in close proximity to a coal seam. A mixture of air, steam, an electrolyte and a suitable catalyst is supplied to the probe, and the mixture is then sprayed directly on the coal seam through a passage in a nozzle. The probe is also energized with electricity applied to the nozzle to produce an arc between the coal and the probe, simultaneous with the spraying of the mixture on the coal seam. Heat of the combustion from the arc and the steam combine to produce a pyrolysis, oxidation, and reduction of the coal, thereby converting the coal into a gaseous combination of oil and by-products. The arc can be rotated to increase the tunnel diameter. An apparatus for performing the method is also provided.

Title
Method and apparatus for conversion of coal in situ
Application Number
7/72679
Publication Number
4776638
Application Date
July 13, 1987
Publication Date
October 11, 1988
Inventor
Ottfried J Hahn
Lexington
KY, US
Agent
King and Schickli
Assignee
University of Kentucky Research Foundation
KY, US
IPC
E21B 7/15
E21C 37/18
E21C 43/00
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