Mining Publication: Direct Method Determination of the Gas Content of Coal: Procedures and Results
The explosion hazard of methane-air mixtures has become an increasingly serious mine planning problem, and an advance assessment of methane gas potential can therefore be essential for a safe and economic mine development program. As part of its coal mine health and safety program, the Bureau of Mines has developed a simple, inexpensive test to measure the methane content of coal samples obtained from exploration cores. The gas content of coal per unit weight as determined by the direct method test can be used as a basis for a preliminary estimate of mine ventilation requirements, and to determine if degasification of the coalbed in advance of mining should be considered. Since the Bureau began measuring the gas content of coal samples in 1972, experience has led to equipment and procedural changes, the most significant of which has been the development of a ball mill for crushing the coal sample to release the residual gas at the end of the desorption test period. This revised procedure replaces the crushing box and graphical methods described in earlier Bureau publications. The results of 583 direct method tests are summarized in tabular form. These results include data on the gas content of 125 coalbeds in 15 states.