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Alternative use of Legacy Underground Mines as Energy Infrastructure – Technology Roadmap Information Session

Mar 23, 2017
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Nexen Annex Theatre (+15 level)
801 - 7th Ave SW
Calgary, AB
This event is currently not open for registration.


New Paradigm Engineering Ltd (NPEL) is investigating the potential use of legacy mines as energy infrastructure for converting remaining coal, waste biomass, and other organic materials into gaseous or liquid energy streams through bioconversion, or through use of mines as geothermal or geoexchange facilities. The concept is based on adapting technologies currently used in the oil & gas, construction, and energy sectors to convert legacy mines, or portions of them, into large scale, low cost bioreactors or thermal energy sources. Options can be developed to provide local communities with competitive low cost energy, despite currently low natural gas prices in Western Canada. The proposed technology roadmap project will highlight potential scalable options simple enough to implement anywhere in the world with access to coal deposits.

Key Attributes:

  • Increased economic conversion of waste biomass to energy
  • Increased recovery of the remaining coal energy contained in legacy coal mines, without the environmental damage associated with coal mining and coal fired plants
  • Potential for multiple bioreactors and energy sources within the same mine producing different products, with large amounts of storage readily available
  • Scalability: Technologies could be used to convert large or small legacy mines into useful energy infrastructure
  • Potential to use locally generated organic waste from agriculture, forestry, peat mining, landfills, cities, and food processing plants to generate low cost biogas or other bioproducts
  • Shares common challenges with other alternative renewable energy sources and systems, such as geothermal heating, thermal energy storage, or CO2 sequestration in coal.
  • Project will bring together experts and technologies from diverse areas such as mining, remote sensing, drilling and completions, biology, biofuels, bioponds, genomics, bioreactors, landfill gas recovery, mine methane, geothermal and geoexchange systems and distributed power generation,


Bruce Peachey President, New Paradigm Engineering Ltd.


This initiative began as a result of two large-scale Canadian research projects, the Carbon Management Canada (CMC) research project, “Bioconversion of Coal by Enhanced Engineering Pathways into Fuel Products” and the Genome Canada-funded “Metagenomics for Greener Production and Extraction of Hydrocarbon Energy”, which showed that methanogenic microbial consortia exist in western North American coal formations and that biomethane generation can be greatly accelerated through addition of nutrients, heat, CO2 and pre-treatment. The potential opportunities also encompass use of waste biomass and geothermal energy opportunities using legacy mines.

This technology roadmap would potentially allow access to the energy stored in the vast coal deposits in Alberta and Canada, despite the stigma surrounding coal. On a larger scale, it could allow developing countries to have access to the power needed to supply their populations with a higher standard of living without the emissions and pollution of coal-fired electricity plants.


Gas power companies, Technology Providers, Service and Supply Companies, Researchers, Innovators, Production engineers, Regulators, Professionals interested in new technologies, Government.

Mar 23
11:30 AM Registration & Lunch
12:00 PM Presentation
1:00 PM Adjourn
(Noon on Mar 22)
At Event
PTAC Member FREE $25.00
Non-Member $50.00 $75.00


Marc Godin, P.Eng.
Technical Advisor
Katie Blanchett
Operations Manager

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