Methane Safety Research for Continuous Miners in South Africa

Cook, Alan P.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
Methane levels have been measured around continuous miners and compared with computer simulations of methane flow. A multi-channel data logger, reading continuously from six methanometers, has shown methane levels to vary at different positions around a continuous miner, with the cutting drum and the immediate face area not necessarily recording the highest concentrations. Methane levels in the driver's cabin are generally low compared with the return side. Computer simulations, using computational fluid dynamics, have been supported by the measured data, and have shown that methane behaviour within the first few metres of the face varies considerably for different bord and pillar development stages. Methane is diluted rapidly to acceptable levels, but the distance required for this is extended when ventilation flow to the face is restricted.
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