Mining Publication: Prediction of Longwall Methane Emissions and the Associated Consequences of Increasing Longwall Face Lengths: A Case Study in the Pittsburgh Coalbed
In an effort to increase productivity, many longwall mining operations in the United States have continually increased face lengths. Unfortunately, the mining of larger panels may increase methane emissions. NIOSH conducted a mine safety research study to characterize and quantify the methane emissions resulting from increasing face lengths in the Pittsburgh Coalbed. The goal of this research effort was to provide the mine operator with a method to predict the increase in methane emissions from the longer faces for incorporation of additional methane control capacity into the mine planning process, if necessary. Based on measured methane emission rates of 140 cfm for a 1,032-ft face, projected longwall face methane emission rates were 191 cfm for a 1,200-ft face, 225 cfm for a 1,400-ft face, and 263 cfm for a 1,600-ft face.