GOB Gas Analyzer System

Garcia, Fred ; Marshal, John K. ; McCall, Frank E.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
Since the advent of longwall mining systems in the United States, mine operators are increasingly relying on methane drainage techniques to supplement the ventilation system. The most commonly used technique is the vertical gob borehole. The number and spacing of vertical gob boreholes per panel is generally based on experience and underground conditions. To design a more efficient methane drainage systems, mine operators must accurately determine methane gas produced. Thus, mine operators must monitor gas flow and methane gas concentration on every vertical gob borehole on active panels at least once or twice during each 8-hr shift. As the mine grows, it is possible to have more than one operating longwall and many vertical gob boreholes. Thus, daily visits to each vertical gob borehole site can become very time consuming. During weekends when methane gas concentrations typically drop because there is no mining activity, borehole sites may not be visited. To obtain accurate gas flow data, a gob borehole monitoring system was designed and constructed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM). Gas flow, methane gas concentration, gas temperature, barometric pressure, and vacuum pressure of the exhaust fan are the parameters collected by the system. The system also includes circuitry for automatic shutdown of the exhaust fan and an alarm system before an unsafe condition is created. Telemetry components were also integrated into the system to allow for transmission of borehole data to the mine office. As a test, the system was installed and operated on a vertical gob borehole for six months. Test results indicated that intermittent measurements with hand-held instruments from vertical gob boreholes were always higher than gas flows measurements made by the gob gas analyzer system. This paper describes the system components, operational characteristics, and the results of the test program.
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