Mining Publication: Advances in Grid-Based Numerical Modeling Techniques for Improving Gas Management in Coal Mines
Effective gas management in coal mines, as well as proper ventilation design, is very important for maintaining the safety of underground coal miners. Advances in numerical modeling techniques have enabled evaluations of the coal mining environment using advanced grid designs and computed gas distributions through detailed mathematical models. These models help engineers to "see" the "unseen" areas of the mine through visualization of the data and ultimately help improve worker safety. This paper summarizes the modeling efforts conducted by NIOSH in the U.S. and CSIRO in Australia to address various gas management issues encountered in longwall mines. The modeling studies involved two of the most widely used grid-based techniques, namely computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and numerical reservoir modeling. This paper discusses the application of these techniques for gob inertization and gas control for spontaneous combustion, pre-mining degasification of coalbeds, gob gas venthole design and performance evaluation in longwalls, and gas management during development mining.