Mining Publication: A Review of the Mechanisms of Gas Outbursts in Coal
Outbursts are sudden and violent releases of gas and coal that result from a complex function of geology, stress regime, and gas pressure and content. The Bureau of Mines has reviewed methods for prediction and mitigation of such outbursts in use worldwide as an aid in selecting the proper techniques for use in specific mine environments. Outburst-prone coal may be distinguished from normal coal by its sorption-desorption velocity. Three types of methods used to characterize the kinetics of sorption-desorption are described; all are based on the ability of outburst-prone coal to release, through desorption, methane or carbon dioxide much more rapidly than normal coals. Other prediction methods, based on borehole samples, are also described. Various mitigation methods described and evaluated include (1) working the least stressed, less disturbed, lowest gas content seam in multiple-seam areas; (2) mine opening geometry; (3) inducer shot firing; (4) water infusion; (5) localized stress relief using boreholes or by cutting a reliever slot in the longwall face; and (6) other gas drainage methods.