Forecasting gas emissions for coal mine safety applications.
Handbook for methane control in mining. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2006 Jun; :113-126
Coalbed methane, if not properly controlled in the underground mine environment, is a safety concern due to the potential risk for an explosion. This is a particular problem during longwall mining, where the high rate and volume of coal extraction can result in the release of large amounts of methane from the mined coalbed and other adjacent gas-bearing strata. The variability and potential hazards of these sometimes unexpectedly high gas flows provide the impetus to develop methods to predict methane emissions into the underground workplace. A forecast of the volume of gas that might be released during coal mining is helpful for designing ventilation systems and for implementing optimum methane drainage strategies to help mitigate expected gas emission problems. A complete assessment of the need for methane drainage prior to mine development generally requires both an empirical and a theoretical approach. If there are active mines in the general area with similar geologic conditions and coal characteristics, a review of gas problems in those mines provides an initial insight into the level of gas emissions to be expected at a new location. In addition, relatively simple methods exist to determine the in situ gas content (volume of gas per unit weight of coal) of the coalbeds in a particular mining area, as well as the gas-in-place (volume of gas in the coalbed(s) within a defined geographic area).
Mining-industry; Methane-control; Safety-research; Coal-mining; Underground-mining; Methanes; Longwall-mining; Geology; Simulation-methods; Methane-drainage
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Book or book chapter
Handbook for Methane Control in Mining