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Conference Proceedings

Australian Mine Ventilation Conference 2017

Conference Proceedings

Australian Mine Ventilation Conference 2017

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Findings from preliminary testing to determine alternative sources of ethylene within sealed areas of underground coalmines

The detection of ethylene in mined-out goaf' areas of underground coalmines is an industry standard indicator of accelerated oxidation where the coal temperature has exceeded 100C. If uncontrolled, this naturally occurring process can lead to spontaneous combustion and catastrophic mine explosions, such as the Moura No 2 mine explosion. Spontaneous combustion trigger action response plans (TARPs) typically use the detection of ethylene as a trigger for definite change requiring immediate reaction, which can include the withdrawal of coalmine workers.Following the completion of sealing of longwall goaves at Crinum North Mine, ethylene was often detected in trace quantities. These trace quantities were below 1 ppm and detected via the bag sampling regime, with the use of a gas chromatograph. Any ethylene detected in these instances was not associated with increased quantities of carbon monoxide to conclusively indicate a heating within the sealed area.Ethylene was only detected in a newly sealed goaf and would not remain present for a period following the sealing. As part of the longwall recovery process, the predominant roof support mechanism during the recovery was the use of timber cribs. It was decided to investigate the possibility of this timber generating ethylene.Preliminary tests were completed by placing timber specimens from several species of Australian native hardwoods in gas bags in air. Over time, some of the samples showed significant levels of ethylene within the bags.CITATION:Westthorp, E and Phillips, J, 2017. Findings from preliminary testing to determine alternative sources of ethylene within sealed areas of underground coalmines, in Proceedings Australian Mine Vent Conference 2017, pp 203-206 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).
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  • Published: 2016
  • PDF Size: 0.091 Mb.
  • Unique ID: P201704029

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