CONTROL OF EXPLOSIVE ZONES IN LONGWALL GOBS THROUGH NITROGEN INJECTION

World Mining Congress
Underground longwall coal mining sections may develop explosive mixtures of methane-air in the mined-out gobs. If the panel are operated as bleederless or sealed gobs, progressive sealing along the gate roads as the longwall face retreats limits the flow of fresh air into the gob and thus deprives potentially explosive atmospheres of oxygen. In a project sponsored by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), researchers at the Colorado School of Mines have used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling to simulate the flow of gases in longwall gobs. Modelling indicates that targeted injection of nitrogen through the seals along the gate roads inbye the face can be used to control the size and location of methane and air clouds within the gob and to minimize or eliminate the explosion hazard resulting from the formation of flammable methane-air mixtures in longwall gobs.
Keywords: Oxygen; Nitrogen; Ventilation; Mines; Mine; Spontaneous combustion; Explosives; modelling;
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