Mining Publication: Numerical Study on Spontaneous Combustion of Coal in U.S. Longwall Gob Areas
In order to reduce fire hazards caused by spontaneous combustion in longwall gob areas, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study is being conducted by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to simulate the spontaneous heating of coal in longwall gob areas. A CFD model was first developed to model the spontaneous heating process in a two longwall panel district using a bleeder ventilation system with a stationary longwall face. The spontaneous heating is modeled as the low-temperature oxidation of coal in the gob using kinetic data obtained from previous laboratory-scale spontaneous combustion studies. Heat generated from coal oxidation is dissipated by convection and conduction, while oxygen and oxidation products are transported by convection and diffusion. CFD simulations were then conducted to model the spontaneous heating in longwall gob area with a bleederless ventilation system. A single longwall panel with a bleederless ventilation system was simulated. The effect of gob permeability on the spontaneous heating was also investigated.