Mining Publication: Reservoir Modeling-Based Prediction and Optimization of Ventilation Requirements During Development Mining in Underground Coal Mines
During development mining, ventilation capacity may decrease and the ventilation requirements may depart from initially planned values depending on the mining rate, increases in the methane emission rate, and changes in ventilation airway leakages. Insufficient ventilation air quantities and the occurrences of high methane liberation rates can overwhelm the existing quantity of ventilation air and result in elevated levels of methane gas during development mining. This condition can both limit the development of that section and increase the risk for an ignition that may lead to an explosion. Thus, the prediction of ventilation air requirements prior to mining can enhance worker safety by reducing the likelihood that explosive methane-air mixtures form. This study presents an approach for prediction of methane inflow rates using coalbed methane reservoir modeling. For this purpose, a two-phase coalbed reservoir model of a three-entry type roadway is developed. In the model, grids are dynamically controlled to simulate development of entries. Examples are given for methane inflow and ventilation air requirements as a function of mining rate, development section length, mining height, and the existence of degasification boreholes. This technology can be used to limit the methane concentrations occurring as a result of the influences of various coalbed and operational parameters.