Underground coal gasification (UCG) generates potential groundwater pollution because it changes local hydrogeological parameters. Groundwater pollution is caused by diffusion and penetration of contaminants generated by UCG processes towards surrounding strata and possible leaching of residue by natural groundwater flow after gasification. A large number of hazardous water-borne contaminants were identified during different UCG operations conducted so far, and in some locations long-term groundwater contaminations were observed. Organic pollutants were detected after UCG process are phenols, benzene with its derivatives, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heterocycles etc. and inorganic pollutants includes ammonia, mercury, zinc, sulphates, cyanides, heavy metals etc. Adsorption function of coal and surrounding strata makes a significant contribution to decrease the contaminants over time and distance from the burn cavity. Possible pollution control measures regarding UCG include identifying unsuitable zone, sitting a hydraulic barrier and pumping contaminated water out for surface disposal. The paper enumerates major pollutants identified in different UCG sites and its mitigation measures during gasification processes, and groundwater remediation after gasification.
Key words: Underground coal gasification, groundwater contamination, water influx.
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