Mining Publication: Methane Emission Rate Studies in a Northern West Virginia Mine
Methane emission rates were studied in a Pittsburgh coalbed mine in northern West Virginia. A fullface boring-type continuous miner, equipped with a methane monitor, was used in the development of a set of eight main headings, one side of which was near old workings; the other side abutted virgin coal. Two air splits ventilated the section. Air volumes and methane percentages were recorded, and time studies of the miner were made during five consecutive operating days, during which a complete cycle of mining the headings and one line of related breakthroughs was accomplished. Methane emission rates increased significantly as mining progressed from the side near old mine workings toward the virgin area, and generally increased with coal extraction. Mining in the heading immediately adjacent to virgin coal was interrupted quite frequently, owing to excessive methane concentrations at the face, despite adequate air volumes and acceptable methane concentrations in the immediate return airway.