Mining Publication: Modeling the Effect of Barometric Pressure Changes on Spontaneous Heating in Bleederless Longwall Panels
Barometric pressure changes affect air density, leading to change in the mass of the gas in the gob. When the barometric pressure decreases, the volume of gas in the gob expands, while the volume of gas contracts when the barometric pressure increases, causing the gob to breathe out and in. Although the concept of gob "breathing" is simple, its effect on spontaneous heating of coal in the gob area is not clear. In this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were conducted to model the spontaneous heating of coal in longwall gob area under measured barometric pressure changes. A single longwall panel using a bleederless ventilation system was simulated. If there is no barometric pressure change, the intake airflow rate is equal to the return airflow rate. When the barometric pressure changes, these two airflow rates are no longer equal, and the difference between the two airflow rates represents the airflow rate the gob breathes in and out. The effect of inflow and outflow of gas on the potential spontaneous heating in the gob was investigated using the CFD model developed in our previous study. The effect of barometric pressure changes on the spontaneous heating was found to be dependent on the gob permeability and the coal oxidation rate. The effect of barometric pressure changes on oxygen concentrations in the gob was also examined.