Ventilation of highwall mining to control methane concentration at the Moura Mine

Vella, Anthony (2006) Ventilation of highwall mining to control methane concentration at the Moura Mine. [USQ Project]


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Methane is a highly explosive gas released during coal mining that presents an
imminent problem when mixed with oxygen in regard to maintaining safe working
conditions in underground and highwall mines.
The Moura Mine’s current Addcar highwall coal mining operation in Central
Queensland has identified that high methane concentrations on the northern side of the
mine have restricted production rates and penetration depths of mining equipment in
comparison to the southern side, with lower methane concentrations (Conway, B 2006,
pers. comm., 11 April). Research has identified that gaining an understanding of the
migration of methane in underground mining applications using computational fluid
dynamics (CFD) software is the key to improving methane control (Ren, Edwards &
Jozefowicz 1997). Further research has suggested that injection of inert gases can
provide an effective means to control methane concentrations in highwall mining
applications (Volkwein 1993 & 1997). Trials at the Moura Mine of the injection of
various inert gases (nitrogen, boiler gas and carbon dioxide) at different injection
configurations on the current highwall mining operation have been inconclusive (Kunst,
G 2006, pers. comm., 16 July).
In this investigation, a simplified two-dimensional CFD model was produced using
Fluent software in order to determine the most effective inert gas and injection angle for
a number of different penetration depths. Results indicated that carbon dioxide was the
most effective of the three gases trialled (carbon dioxide, nitrogen and boiler gas), at an
injection angle parallel to the profile of the highwall drive (i.e., at 0 degrees). The
boiler gas and nitrogen provided similar results to one another and were also most
effective when injected parallel to the drive for all penetration depths. Additional
research is required to further understand how to maximise methane control measures at
the Moura Mine. Specifically, for example, a three-dimensional CFD analysis would
provide a more comprehensive representation of the current highwall mining operation.
The results of this investigation, however, should aid in understanding the migration and
control of methane concentrations within the current highwall mining operation, leading
to improved penetration depth, production rates and safety at the Moura Mine.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:03
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: methane; Moura Mine; highwall mining system; computational fluid dynamics; coal; gas
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091399 Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified
09 Engineering > 0915 Interdisciplinary Engineering > 091501 Computational Fluid Dynamics
09 Engineering > 0914 Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy > 091405 Mining Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4017 Mechanical engineering > 401799 Mechanical engineering not elsewhere classified
40 ENGINEERING > 4012 Fluid mechanics and thermal engineering > 401204 Computational methods in fluid flow, heat and mass transfer (incl. computational fluid dynamics)
40 ENGINEERING > 4019 Resources engineering and extractive metallurgy > 401905 Mining engineering

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