Mining Publication: Water Infusion of Coalbeds for Methane and Dust Control
This Bureau of Mines report deals with water infusion of coalbeds, which can control methane emission at face areas during developmental mining and which may sometimes suppress dust. Studies show that water infused into the coalbed flows through the fracture system and displaces the methane in the fractures and prevents migration from the solid coal. Displaced gas migrates away from the face area that has been water infused and enters the return ventilation airways. A gradual decrease in methane emission is observed from the start of infusion until the infused zone is mined through. Depending on the permeability of the coalbed, infusion pressures ranged from 300 to 2,200 lb/in2. Face emissions in the upper Kittanning coalbed were reduced by 89 pct; reductions of 38 to 79 pct were measured in the Pittsburgh coalbed depending on the relationship between the face cleat direction and mining direction. Respirable dust levels were reduced by about 75 pct on a longwall section in the Pocahontas No. 3 Coalbed and by about 50 pct on a development section in the upper Kittanning coalbed, but no statistically reliable reduction was found in the respirable dust levels in the Pittsburgh coalbed.