Mining Publication: Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Spontaneous Heating in Longwall Gob Areas
To provide insights for the optimization of ventilation systems for U.S. underground coal mines facing both methane control and spontaneous combustion issues, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study was conducted to model the potential for spontaneous heating in longwall gob areas. A two longwall panel district using a bleeder ventilation system with a stationary longwall face was simulated. The permeability and porosity profiles for the longwall gob were generated from a geotechnical model and were used as inputs for the CFD modeling. In this study, the effect of methane emissions from the mined coal seam, including the longwall face and overlying rider seam reservoirs on the gob gas distribution was considered. The spontaneous heating is modeled as the low-temperature oxidation of coal in the gob using kinetic data obtained from previous laboratory-scale spontaneous-combustion studies. Unsteady state simulations were conducted, and the effects of the coal’s apparent activation energy and reaction surface area on the spontaneous heating process were also examined.