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Mining Contract: Development and Demonstration of the Battelle Barrier Survival System

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Contract DetailValue
Contract #200-2007-22067
Start Date8/30/2007
End Date10/30/2008
Research Concept

The objective of this contract is to design, test, develop, and demonstrate a prototype for an advanced mine barrier survival system (MBSS). The MBSS must:

  • follow miners at the rapid pace of continuously advancing mine faces,
  • be built on-demand by barricading mine entries, crosscuts, or rooms,
  • be compatible with current miner training and equipment (barricading),
  • have barriers precut and deployable in most-probable mine dimensions,
  • have synergistic processes for removing C02 and CO and adding O2 and heat,
  • be scaled to number of miners (10) and duration (4 days),
  • contain supplies storable unattended for up to about 10 years,
  • have a footprint, volume, and weight optimized to the minimal,
  • have a built-in and self-acting barrier-deployment system,
  • have soft-seals for relocation or reentry, as necessary,
  • have flexibility for overpressure resistance (15 psi),
  • have material resistant to flash heating up to 300°F,
  • have economically competitive capital costs, and
  • be demonstrated in time to meet the needs of the MINER Act of 2006.
Program Area

Contract Status & Impact

The research is complete. To receive a copy of the final report, send a request to

During Phase I, the MBSS concept was proven to be viable with respect to barrier design, deployment, and air processing components. Phase II focused on the final design and fabrication of a working MBSS. The system was tested in Battelle's Columbus, Ohio, environmental chamber. The inflatable barrier was shown to be a viable entry sealing barrier and the air processing components were able to provide oxygen and scrub carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and methane. Battelle is currently pursuing commercialization of the MBSS, which will require field testing the prototype in an operating underground coal mine.

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