Improving Coal Permeability using Microwave Heating Technology -- A Review


Microwave heating is a promising non-aqueous technology in coal seam enhancement. Recently, it has been considered as an alternative technology to hydraulic fracturing and Enhanced Coal Bed Methane recovery, which may be inapplicable due to environmental and geological restrictions. In this paper, a critical review of microwave heating (MH) applications in coal permeability enhancement is presented. The mechanisms of both microwave heating and microwave-induced permeability enhancement are explained. Most of the experimental studies and numerical simulations in the related area are reviewed. The influencing factors for microwave heating/fracturing effect are then discussed in detail. After discussing the challenges in applying microwave on-site, potential field applications were suggested. As no field application is reported till now, further studies, especially experiments in the field-scale are in badly demand to test its technical and economic feasibility.


Mining Engineering


This work is supported by the National Science and Technology Major Project of China (Grant No. 2016ZX05043005 ) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 51674050 ). This work was also supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51774279 ), the Petrochemical Joint Funds of National Natural Science Foundation of China and China National Petroleum Corporation (Grant No. U1762105 ), the University “Qing-Lan” Project of Jiangsu Province, and the “Six talent peaks” Project of Jiangsu Province (Grant No. JNHB-094).

Keywords and Phrases

Microwave heating; Microwave fracturing; Coalbed methane; Permeability enhancement

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0016-2361; 1873-7153

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2020 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2020