Mining Publication: Methodology for Determining Occluded Gas Contents in Domal Rock Salt
The Bureau of Mines has developed two experimental designs for determining the volumes and relative proportions of the various gas species, particularly methane (CH4), occluded in rock salt. To date, the rock salt samples analyzed have been relatively small (400- to 1,000-gram) grab samples from Louisiana gulf coast domal salt mines. The results obtained are comparable to results in Polish domal salt mines, in terms of occluded gas volumes per mass of rock salt. The notable difference between the Louisiana and Polish occluded gas mixtures is in the relative proportions of the individual gas species. The two methods used by the Bureau are ball- mill crushing and dissolution. Of the two, the dissolution method appears to be more versatile because it can be performed in situ. The relevance and applicability of data on the occluded gas contents of rock salt are dependent on sample size, sample collection method, geologic context of the sample, and the correlation with gas emissions that occur as a result of mining-induced fractures and pressure differentials.