Mining Publication: Effect of Longwall Face Advance on Spontaneous Heating in Longwall Gob Areas
To reduce fire hazards from spontaneous combustion of coal in longwall gob areas, a series of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to model the spontaneous heating of coal in longwall gob areas. The previous modeling results demonstrate that spontaneous heating of coal usually occurred behind the longwall shields and along the face with a bleeder ventilation system. Assuming a stationary longwall face, the spontaneous heating could turn to a spontaneous fire in several days for the most reactive coal under favorable conditions. When the longwall face advances, the spontaneous heating process will be significantly affected. In this study, the effect of longwall face advance on the spontaneous heating in the gob area is investigated using the CFD model developed in previous studies. One longwall panel with a bleeder ventilation system is simulated. The width of the panel is 300 m (984 ft), while the length of the panel is changed between 1,000 to 2,000 m (3,280 to 6,560 ft). The same permeability and porosity profiles are used for gobs with different lengths. The spontaneous heating first develops in the gob when the longwall face is stationary. Then, the face advances at a certain rate. The face advance is simulated as a series of discrete movements, and the effect of the face advance on the maximum temperature developed during the face stoppage is examined.