Title page for ETD etd-4759949751281

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lin, Wei
URN etd-4759949751281
Title The Ignition of Methane and Coal Dust by Air Compression - The Experimental Proof
Degree Master of Science
Department Mining and Minerals Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Karfakis, Mario G.
Karmis, Michael E.
McPherson, Malcolm J. Committee Chair
  • methane
  • dust
  • compression
  • explosion
  • experiments
Date of Defense 1997-05-01
Availability unrestricted
When a large area of open gob collapses

suddenly, a windblast is produced that can

cause considerable damage throughout the

infrastructure of a mine. In a few cases, the

windblast has been accompanied by ignitions

of methane and/or coal dust. Analytical and

numerical analyses investigated the transient

behavior of the air through the small time

period during which the roof is falling. This is

sufficiently short to allow adiabatic

compression of the air, i.e. negligible heat

transfer to rock surfaces. Controlled escape of

the air via interconnecting entries limits the

build-up of air pressure. However, this same

phenomenum causes the potential energy of

the falling strata to be concentrated into a

diminishing mass of air. Computer simulations

predicted that the temperature of the air would

increase rapidly as the roof descends, reaching

values that are capable of igniting either

methane or coal dust.

This thesis concentrates on a series of

laboratory tests involving the compression of

mixtures of air, methane and coal dust under a

falling weight and while allowing controlled

escape of the mixture. The transient responses

on pressure and temperature sensors were

recorded. In addition to an analysis of those

records, the thesis highlights those conditions

in which ignitions occurred.

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