Methane Drainage in Retreating Longwall with Single Gateroads
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1982
The need to solve the problems associated with spontaneous combustion, system of ventil- ation and methane drainage in gassy coal mines has brought about the development of mining and degassing methods which has made possible up to 80% gas recovery in retreating longwalls. Beneficial results also were obtained mostly in the double or multiple-entry systems, but for single-entry systems and for a seam thickness exceeding 3 m, gas recovery rate is still very low. With some single-heading systems, such as those where a return roadway is not maintained in the goaf behind the face line, a new methane drainage technology is practiced. Attempts were made to extract methane from roof holes drilled from offsets in the ribside of the longwall block. The inclinations and lengths of the boreholes were planned and designed on the basis of the geological and mining condit- ions encountered at the time and every second hole was terminated precisely at the point where the previous hole intersected the immed- iate roof goaf area above the face. There are mathematical relations approp- riate to the design of the above drainage systems to give optimum methane recovery under the given conditions. Some examples of drainage have reached 87% recovery and have attained 94% CH4 purity.