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Calamity Hollow Mine Fire Project (in five parts): 2. Operation of the burnout control system.

Chaiken RF; Dalverny LE; Kim AG
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI 9241, 1989 Jan; :1-35
During the period from January to May 1982, the U.S. Bureau of Mines carried out a continuous field test of the burnout control process for controlling abandoned mined-land fires. In this process, the rate of burning of an underground mine fire is accelerated through the action of a suction fan, which pulls and collects hot combustion gases from the mine while causing air to flow over the fire. Burnout control thus controls the emission of heat and fumes from the mine fire, and produces sufficient thermal power to run a small electrical generation plant. Previous reports in this five-part series have described the design, construction, and instrumentation of the burnout control system at Calamity Hollow, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and the quenching and excavation process by which the fire was cooled and finally extinguished after this particular experimental field test. This report, which completes the full description of the calamity hollow coal mine fire project, summarizes in detail various aspects of the operational phase of the field test. It includes a chronology of events, a discussion of the technical data, and a summary of results . Despite mechanical and operational problems, the field trial at calamity hollow demonstrated that burnout control is a viable method of controlling an abandoned mine fire.
Mine fires; In situ combustion; Coal mines; Combustion control; Gas analysis; Mine ventilation; Technology assessment; Pennsylvania; Burnout control; Calamity Hollow mine; Abandoned mines
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigations
Fiscal Year
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NIOSH Division
Source Name
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI 9241
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division