Mining Publication: A New Methane Control and Prediction Software Suite for Longwall Mines
This paper presents technical and application aspects of a new software suite, MCP (Methane Control and Prediction), developed for addressing some of the methane and methane control issues in longwall coal mines. The software suite consists of dynamic link library (DLL) extensions to MS-AccessTM, written in C++. In order to create the DLLs, various statistical, mathematical approaches, prediction and classification artificial neural network (ANN) methods were used. The current version of MCP suite (version 1.3) discussed in this paper has four separate modules that (a) predict the dynamic elastic properties of coal-measure rocks, (b) predict ventilation emissions from longwall mines, (c) determine the type of degasification system that needs to be utilized for given situations and (d) assess the production performance of gob gas ventholes that are used to extract methane from longwall gobs. These modules can be used with the data from basic logs, mining, longwall panel, productivity, and coal bed characteristics. The applications of these modules separately or in combination for methane capture and control related problems will help improve the safety of mines. The software suite’s version 1.3 is discussed in this paper. Currently, the new version 2.0 is available and can be downloaded free of charge. The models discussed in this paper can be found under ‘‘ancillary models’’ and under ‘‘methane prediction models’’ for specific U.S. conditions in the new version.