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Control of Methane by Ventilation of Shafts During Raise Drilling.

Maksimovic SD
MISSING :11 pages
At some coal mines, methane gas is released during raise drilling. At the request of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), U.S. Department of Labor, the Bureau of Mines conducted ventilation surveys at different raise drill sites to assess various methods of reducing methane concentration. The resulting data indicate that raise drill shaft cavities are ventilated by air compressors, vacuum pumps, auxiliary blower fans, and free intake air from the surface. The compressors, pumps, and fans operate simultaneously or separately. At the bottom of the shaft cavities, ventilation is controlled by regulators and airlocks. Methane is monitored, measured, and periodically sampled on the surface, at the bottom and at different levels in the shaft cavities. Maximum concentration of 3.5 percent was measured in one shaft in West Virginia. Air velocity down the raise drill shafts is always very low. Maximum recorded air down the drill stem was 3,000 cfm, which can be increased by adding air compressors. The best way to ventilate shaft cavities is through the simultaneous use of air compressors and vacuum pumps. If the methane concentration cannot be reduced with additional compressors, then the inside diameter of the drill rod should be increased, or larger pilot hole drill bits should be used.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Information Circular;
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
IC 8847
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Page last reviewed: October 29, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division