Doctoral Dissertations


Erich Sarapuu


"The development of underground gasification methods for recovering mineral fuels is comparatively recent and several methods have been evolved for treating the various source materials. The problem of recovering solid and liquid fuels by underground gasification in gaseous form was primarily approached by means of opening underground entries which created the required fire-drift for starting the gasification in place.

Increasing knowledge of the whole problem of gasification in situ led to the evolution of new improvements in the underground gasification technique and, in the course of progressive research the preparations required for starting the gasification were accomplished from the surface. This procedure simplified the gasification and reduced the cost of the underground fuel. The trend of this development has been called “shaftless underground gasification”.

The aim of this research was the investigation of the possibility to use electric current for underground gasification and carbonization purpose. The current passed through the fuel bed, which acts as conductor, initiates the decomposition of original organic substance of the fuel. This phenomenon has been utilized for recovering various fuels like coal, oil shale and oil sand.

The process is called “Electrocarbonization” and is a shaftless gasification method.

The field experimentation was perforated at the "Tiger” Mine (Sinclair Coal Company), Hume, Missouri. On the bases of research data made available by 4 years of experimentation (from September, 1947 to May, 1951) embodied in this dissertation, it is believed that a large scale underground electrocarbonization and gasification pilot plant can be designed and operated successfully. The research has proved that gas suitable for domestic and industrial use can be produced physically and economically by the underground Electrocarbonization process. Further development of the process is largely the responsibility of industry"--Abstract, pages iii-iv.


Forrester, James Donald, 1906-1979
Vine, William A.


Mining Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Mining Engineering


Board of Curators of the University of Missouri


Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy

Publication Date



ix, 146 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 144-145).


© 1951 Erich Sarapuu, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Coal gasification, Underground

Thesis Number

T 974

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