Technologies for the conversion of coal to high-BTU gas are usually initiated by reacting the coal with steam and oxygen in the temperature range of 9500 C or higher. Direct reaction of coal with steam is practiced because water must ultimately be the primary source of hydrogen for such processes. The steam-coal reaction is highly endothermic and requires temperatures of the order of 9500 C or higher if the reaction is to proceed at a reasonable rate without an externally applied catalyst. Themolecular oxygen is introduced to react with carbon in the coal to produce the energy necessary to achieve and maintain the temperature for the reaction. The carbon monoxide thus produced from the oxygen and from the steam is to be hydrogenated to produce principally methane. The ratio of hydrogen to carbon monoxide must be greatly increased to accomplish this. Thermodynamic considerations demand that the reaction of carbon monoxide and more steam to produce molecular hydrogen must be conducted at temperatures of 4500 C or lower, if a hydrogen-carbon monoxide ratio of 3 or greater is to be achieved. This reaction must proceed TNi th the help of a catalyst. Following cleaning of this gas to remove H2S, C02 and other impurities, the carbon monoxide is catalytically hydrogenated in the temperature range of 4500e to produce methane. The hydrogenation reaction is exothermic. In a system such as this the introduction of molecular oxygen to react with carbon to achieve the necessary elevated temperatures for the steam-carbon reaction represents a severe energy penalty to the process. As much as 1/3 of the heating value of the coal, or perhaps more, is lost to the process through this sequence of events. It has been noted, however, that the overall process of converting coal to methane approaches thermal neutrality, if the entire process could be achieved at temperatures in the range of the methanation reaction. In as much as thermodynamics demand that the methanation reaction must occur at temperatures below 5000C if high methane yields are anticipated, it would be attractive to conduct the full process at temperatures below 50Qoe and do !tin a single reactor to gain the maximum benefit from the energy of the methanation reaction and to most nearly approach thermal neutrality in the process. This work is intended to investigate the various parameters and factors, including commercially available catalysts, which might make such a process possible.