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Preventing methane ignitions at longwall faces.
Handbook for methane control in mining. Kissell FN, ed. Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2006-127 (IC 9486), 2006 Jun; :55-62
The methane released along a longwall face represents only 10%-20% of the total methane emitted from the entire longwall panel. Nevertheless, in very gassy coal seams, this methane released at the face can pose a problem because the shearer is a ready ignition source. Preventing methane ignitions at longwall faces requires four actions. The first is to provide better ventilation around the shearer to eliminate the ventilation eddy zones at the drums where methane builds up. These eddy zones are eliminated by mounting additional water sprays on the shearer to direct air into them. The second action to prevent methane ignitions is to install a water spray behind each cutter bit and regularly replace worn bits. Water sprays behind each cutter bit act to quench the hot metal streak that follows a worn bit when it strikes rock. The third is to ensure that no ventilation eddy zones are inadvertently created by poor placement of water sprays. The fourth is to ensure that the methane monitor on the shearer is in the best location to detect methane accumulations.
Mining-industry; Methane-control; Methanes; Safety-research; Coal-mining; Underground-mining; Longwall-mining; Ignition-sources; Mining-equipment
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Handbook for methane control in mining
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division