Coal and Coalbed Gas – New Book Out!

Considering the impact that coal has on the world, there are surprisingly few technical books dedicated to the subject.

Romeo Flores, recently retired from the US Geological Survey (but still a Cipher Associate [see: ]), has gone some way to remedy this situation. His book “Coal and Coalbed Gas: Fueling the Future” has just been released by Elsevier Publishing. A bit of a disclaimer upfront: I was honored to be invited to Flores Frontwrite the Foreword, which I did. But don’t let that dissuade you. It’s an amazingly broad book and covers the fundamentals of coal formation, its geology, utilization and, quite importantly, how coal acts as a reservoir for gas.

Dr Flores’ depth of knowledge of coal and coalbed methane is incredible. And this book bears the stamp of someone who has worked in many places around the world on a variety of energy topics.

Who should read this book? Well, most definitely anyone who is interested in the facts about coal (its not always a ‘four – letter – word’!) and coalbed methane. Professionals in the coal and coal gas industry will find the book an essential bible and an oft-used reference; careful though, after a few years your copy might be so worn and dirty that you’ll need a second.

Yes, it is written by a geologist, but one that has had a foot in the door of both research and industry for his whole career (something his Doctoral thesis advisor, the late Professor John C. Ferm, taught all of us). For all the students and especially the engineers out there, I’d go further than saying it is an essential book to have, I’d have to insist that it is mandatory.

As I say in the Foreword, it is really up to you to explore the book, but do it before Romey sits down on that sandstone ledge. Well … you’ll just have to get the book to understand what I mean by that.

Coal and Coalbed Gas is available through the publisher (Elsevier: ISBN 9780123969729) or Amazon ( as either an electronic copy or in hardback (528 pp, $US110).

Flores back3

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