Coal permeability behaviors and non-uniform deformations under various boundary conditions: Part 1 – Experimental observations

Yaoyao Zhao, Yixin Zhao, Jishan Liu, Mingyao Wei, Dongxue Cui, Sen Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Permeability is a key parameter to evaluate the ability of coal reservoir for transmitting coalbed methane (CBM). Deformations of internal components of coal caused by the variations of physical fields control the evolution of coal permeability. And there is obvious non-uniform in the deformations of coal bulk and fracture due to the heterogeneity of coal. However, at present, the evolution of non-uniform deformation and its relationship with coal permeability are unclear. In this study, first of a two-part series, we completed a series of experiments to measure the permeability, axial strain, radial strain, overall strain and fracture strain of a coal sample under different boundary conditions (constant confining pressure, constant effective stress and uniaxial strain) at different injection pressures of carbon dioxide (0.2 MPa, 1.0 MPa, 2.0 MPa, 3.0 MPa, 4.0 MPa and 5.0 MPa). And we defined the comprehensive non-uniform deformation index (CNDI) as the ratio of the fracture strain to the overall strain to quantify the degree of the non-uniform deformation between coal bulk and fracture. The experimental results show that the deformation of the coal sample in the longitudinal joint direction is smaller than that in the transverse joint direction, which indicates that the mechanical properties of the coal sample is anisotropic in different directions. And there are obvious differences between the deformations of coal bulk and fractures. When the gas pressure is in the range of 0.2 ∼ 5.0 MPa, the non-uniform deformations are vaguely related to the change of gas pressure, but closely related to the type of boundary conditions. The influence of gas pressure under displacement-controlled boundary condition (uniaxial strain) on the CNDI is greater than that under stress-controlled boundary conditions (constant confining pressure, constant effective stress). In addition, we also observed the phenomenon by the experimental results of the constant effective stress group: the permeability decreases gradually with the gas pressure even after removing the influence of gas slip effect, which is inconsistent with the traditional theoretical solution under the constant effective stress condition. Based on the fact that coal sample is a heterogeneous body, we tentatively believe that one of the reasons for this inconsistency may be that the traditional definition of effective stress does not include the effect of gas adsorption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127649
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


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