Methane emissions and airflow patterns on a longwall face.
Schatzel-SJ; Krog-RB; Dougherty-H
2012 SME Annual Meeting, February 19 - 22, Seattle, Washington, Preprint 12-016. Englewood, CO: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., 2012 Feb; :72-78
Coal mine longwall face ventilation is an important component of the overall mine ventilation system. Increases in the production rate due to higher capacity mining equipment tend to increase methane emission rates from the coal face, which must be diluted by the face ventilation with a minimal opportunity for assistance from additional control equipment (i.e., surface boreholes). Increases in panel length, in some mines approaching 6,100 m (20,000 ft), and panel width provide additional challenges to face ventilation designs. Face ventilation can also be affected by communication with the methane-laden gob gas reservoir. Except in a two-entry system, belt air cannot be used to ventilate the face in the US, except in limited cases. This relatively recent requirement has further challenged the mining industry in maintaining adequate longwall face ventilation. To assess the effectiveness of current face ventilation practices, a face monitoring study was combined with a tracer gas test on a longwall face. The study was conducted at a US mine operating in a thick, bituminous coal seam with some self-heating tendencies. Multiple gob gas ventholes were located near the face and produced a small portion of ventilation air in their production flow. Initial results show that emission rates on the longwall face showed a very limited increase in methane concentrations from headgate to tailgate despite the occurrence of methane delays during monitoring. Increases in methane concentrations in the tailgate entry in the vicinity of the longwall face T-junction appeared to be produced primarily by gas flow from the gob, not from increased emissions from the face. Barometric pressure variations were substantial over the course of the study and varied on a diurnal basis, as is typical of many mining operations. Suggestions are forwarded for reducing longwall face methane concentrations.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Ventilation; Methanes; Methane-control; Air-flow; Air-monitoring; Sampling; Longwall-mining; Coal-mining; Ventilation-systems; Ventilation-equipment; Equipment-design; Coal-gas; Gas-indicators
2012 SME Annual Meeting, February 19 - 22, Seattle, Washington, Preprint 12-016