Mining Publication: Gases Desorbed From Five Coals of Low Gas Content
Methane and other hydrocarbon gases, byproducts of coalification, are emitted from coal at widely varying rates and often present ventilation problems during mining. The air in some coal mines apparently contains no methane. To determine if coals from mines which had no history of detectable gas emission contained adsorbed methane, samples of coal at the shaft bottom and at an active face were obtained and placed in sealed metal cylinders. The atmosphere around the coal was sampled and analyzed by gas chromatography. Methane, ethane, ethylene, propane, propylene, and butane were found to have been desorbed from these coals. Hydrogen and helium were also detected. An estimate of the amount of residual gas per ton of coal indicated that coal samples from the active face generally contained more adsorbed gas than coal samples obtained from the shaft bottom.