Influence of the Permeability of the Longwall Goaf Zones on the Location of an Area With Explosive Methane Concentration Levels
One of the basic ventilation hazards and, at the same time most dangerous, in hard coal mines is the methane hazard. During the exploitation process using the longwall system with the breaking down of roof rocks, methane is released into mining excavations from both mined coal and the one left in goaves. Significant amounts of methane also flow from the underworked and overworked seams, through cracks and fissures formed in the rock mass. When accumulated at an explosive concentration level in goves and at an appropriate oxygen concentration level and the occurrence of a trigger (e.g. a spark or endogenous fire), methane may either explode or ignite. These are immensely dangerous phenomena. Therefore, the possibility of their occurrence should be limited. The article presents the results of the research aimed at determining the impact of the permeability of goaf zones on the distribution of methane and oxygen concentration levels in these goaves. The study was carried out for the longwall ventilated with the Y system. The model analysis was conducted, the results of which allowed the authors to determine these distributions. On their basis, both the location and size of the areas in which hazardous methane concentrations could occur were designated. The results are of great practical importance as they indicate areas in goaves where preventive measures should be implemented. (original abstract)
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