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The Effectiveness of the Methane Drainage of Rock-Mass with a U Ventilation System

The Effectiveness of the Methane Drainage of Rock-Mass with a U Ventilation System Arch. Min. Sci., Vol. 61 (2016), No 3, p. 617­634 Electronic version (in color) of this paper is available: http://mining.archives.pl DOI 10.1515/amsc-2016-0044 NIKODEM SZLZAK*, JUSTYNA SWOLKIE* EFEKTYWNO ODMETANOWANIA GÓROTWORU PRZY SYSTEMIE PRZEWIETRZANIA U OD GRANIC Methane drainage is used in Polish coal mines in order to reduce mine methane emission as well as to keep methane concentration in mine workings at safe levels. The article describes the method of methane drainage used in longwall D-2 in seam 410. In Poland, coal seams are frequently mined under difficult geological conditions in the roof and in the presence of very high methane hazard. In such situations, mines usually use a system with roof caving and a U ventilation system, which means that methane is drawn off from a tail entry behind the longwall front. In this system, boreholes are drilled from a tailgate and methane is drawn off from behind longwall face. The article shows the influence of a specific ventilation system on the drainage efficiency at longwall D-2 in seam 410. At this longwall, measurements of methane emission and the efficiency of methane capture were conducted. They consisted in gauging methane concentration, air velocity, absolute air pressure and the amount of methane captured by the drainage system. Experimental data were used to estimate the variations in absolute methane-bearing capacity and ventilation methane, and ­ most importantly ­ to gauge the efficiency of methane drainage. Keywords: methane drainage, ventilation system, effectiveness of methane drainage, methane hazard Metan wystpujcy w pokladach wgla kamiennego stanowi powane zagroenie dla bezpieczestwa w podziemnych zakladach górniczych. Ograniczenie wyplywu metanu do przestrzeni wyrobisk górniczych, w celu niedopuszczenia do przekroczenia dopuszczalnych przepisami górniczymi ste metanu w powietrzu przeplywajcym przez wyrobiska, narzuca stosowanie rodków zapobiegajcych powstaniu zagroenia w postaci odmetanowania górotworu. Umoliwia ono ograniczenie wyplywu metanu do przestrzeni roboczej oraz odsunicie najwyszych ste metanu w glb przestrzeni zrobowej (Roszkowski i Szlzak, 1999; Szlzak i Korzec, 2010; Szlzak i Kubaczka, 2012; Skotniczy, 2013). Skuteczne odmetanowanie wgla w podziemnych wyrobiskach górniczych nie tylko poprawia bezpieczestwo, ale równie zwiksza wydobycie z wyrobisk eksploatacyjnych (Szlzak i Korzec, 2010; Szlzak i Kubaczka, 2012; Berger i in., 2010). * AGH UNIVERSITY OF MINING AND TECHNOLOGY, FACULTY OF MINING AND GEOENGINEERING, AL. A. MICKIEWICZA 30, 30-059 KRAKOW, POLAND. E-mail: szlazak@agh.edu.pl; swolkien@agh.edu.pl W Polsce, roku 2012, eksploatacja prowadzona byla w 31 kopalniach, z czego w 21 stwierdzono i rejestrowano wydzielanie metanu, a 15 z nich prowadzilo eksploatacj w warunkach IV najwyszej kategorii zagroenia metanowego (Glówny Instytut Górnictwa, 2013). W trzech kopalniach prowadzono eksploatacj pokladów metanowych jednak nie rejestrowano wydzielania metanu. Obnianie zagroenia metanowego poprzez odmetanowanie pokladów przyczynia si do poprawy bezpieczestwa zalóg górniczych oraz cigloci pracy maszyn zmniejszajc liczb postojów maszyn w wyniku wylcze energii elektrycznej po przekroczeniu wartoci krytycznych stenia metanu. Efektywne systemy odmetanowania to take moliwo pozyskiwania metanu, jako naturalnego ródla energii, ale równie ograniczanie ujemnych skutków na rodowisko naturalne wynikajcych z odprowadzania metanu do atmosfery. W artykule opisano metod odmetanowania górotworu przy wykorzystaniu sytemu przewietrzania U. Jako przyklad przedstawiono cian D-2 w pokladzie 410. Eksploatacja ciany D-2 prowadzona byla w rozpoznanej partii zloa na glbokoci od 888 m do 1047 m, w pokladzie 410 o miszoci od 1,2-2,2 m. Map pokladu 410 wraz z lokalizacj ciany D-2 przedstawiono na rysunku 1. Maksymalna zmierzona metanonono pokladu 410 wynosila 9,508 m3CH4/Mg csw. Prognoza metanowoci bezwzgldnej ciany D-2 w pokladzie 410 przewidywala maksymalne wydzielanie si metanu w iloci 36,78 m3/min. przy postpie 7,25 m/d (wydobycie 3000 Mg/dob). Udzial poszczególnych warstw w wydzielaniu metanu przedstawia si nastpujco: · z pokladu wybieranego ­ 25%, · z warstw podbieranych ­ 42%, · z warstw nadbieranych ­ 33%. ciana D-2 w pokladzie 410 przewietrzana byla systemem U z dowieaniem za pomoc wentylatora i lutniocigu. Powietrze do ciany D-2 w pokladzie 410 w iloci ok. 1500 m3/min doprowadzone bylo chodnikiem nadcianowym D-2. Dodatkowo w rejon skrzyowania wylotu ze ciany D-2 z chodnikiem podcianowym D-2, za pomoc lutniocigu doprowadzone bylo okolo 500 m3/min. W przypadku odmetanowywania pokladów ssiednich niezbdne jest okrelenie strefy desorpcji wywolanej eksploatacj ciany. Otwory drenaowe powinny by zlokalizowane tak, aby znajdowaly si w strefie odpronej, natomiast nie przecinaly strefy zawalu bezporedniego. W polskich warunkach geologicznych dobre wyniki daje wyznaczanie któw nachylenia otworów drenaowych zgodne z prac (Flügge, 1971), a przedstawionych na Rys. 2. Rozmieszczenie otworów drenaowych w rejonie badanej ciany przedstawiono na rysunku 4 ich parametry techniczne za w tabeli 1. Parametry techniczne planowanych otworów drenaowych z chodnika nadcianowego i podcianowego D-2 przedstawiono w tabelach 2 i 3. Celem artykulu bylo pokazanie jaki wplyw na efektywno odmetanowania ciany D-2 w pokladzie 410 mial dobór systemu przewietrzania U. W cianie D-2 w pokladzie 410 przeprowadzono badania wydzielania metanu i jego ujcia systemem odmetanowania. Badania polegaly na pomiarach stenia metanu, prdkoci powietrza, cinienia barometrycznego i iloci ujmowanego metanu systemem odmetanowania. Pomiary prowadzono w oparciu o czujniki metanometryczne i prdkoci powietrza umieszczone w cianie D-2 w pokladzie 410. Rozmieszczenie czujników przedstawiono na rysunku 6. Niezalenie od tego dokumentowano postp i wielko dobowego wydobycia ze ciany. Czujniki, na podstawie których okrelano stenia metanu kontrolowane byly okresowo poprzez porównanie ich wskaza z mieszankami wzorcowymi, natomiast czujniki prdkoci powietrza sprawdzano poprzez porównywanie ich wskaza z pomiarami chwilowymi wykonywanymi w miejscu ich zabudowy anemometrami rcznymi. Badania prowadzono w okresie od 01.04.2013 roku do koca padziernika (28.10.) 2013 roku. W omawianym czasie, na podstawie pomiarów, dokonano bilansu dziennego iloci wydzielajcego si metanu w rejonie eksploatacji. Jednoczenie obliczono dzienn wielko wydobycia, postpu i wybiegu ciany. Dodatkowo w zadanym okresie czasu okrelono przebiegi zmian stenia metanu na czujnikach metanometrycznych, prdkoci i cinienia barometrycznego na wylocie z rejonu. Numery czujników, na podstawie których dokonywano oblicze oraz ich lokalizacj przedstawiono w tabeli 4. Uzyskane dane oraz ilo metanu ujta odmetanowaniem posluyly do okrelenia przebiegu zmiennoci metanowoci wentylacyjnej, bezwzgldnej, a take okrelenia efektywnoci odmetanowania (Rys. 7-10). W celu przeprowadzenia oceny statystycznej wyników sporzdzono wykresy ramkowe wyznaczonych na podstawie pomiarów wielkoci na wybiegu eksploatowanych cian (Rys. 11-13). Dodatkowo dla ciany wykrelono zaleno wydobycia od wybiegu (Rys. 14). Analiza statystyczna obejmowala równie okrelenie przebiegu zmiennoci iloci metanu ujtego odmetanowaniem i jego efektywnoci od wydobycia (Rys. 15, 16) i od metanowoci bezwzgldnej (Rys. 17 i 18), a take efektywnoci odmetanowania od metanowoci wentylacyjnej (Rys. 19), stenia metanu od odmetanowania (Rys. 20) i iloci metanu ujtej odmetanowaniem od cinienia barometrycznego powietrza (Rys. 21). Przeprowadzone obserwacje w rejonie ciany D-2 prowadzonej systemem U od granic pozwalaj na nastpujce stwierdzenia: · W trakcie biegu ciany zmianie ulega wydatek ujmowanego metanu oraz efektywno odmetanowania. Na etapie rozruchu ciany zarówno metanowo bezwzgldna, jak równie ilo metanu ujmowanego przez odmetanowanie uzyskiwaly nisze wartoci. Po okresie rozruchu ciany parametry te wzrastaly i utrzymywaly si na wzgldnie stalym poziomie w czasie eksploatacji ciany. Wzrosla równie efektywno odmetanowania. · W czasie prowadzenia ciany stwierdzono wzrost ujcia metanu systemem odmetanowania wraz z narastaniem metanowoci bezwzgldnej w rejonie. · Zmiany wydobycia nie wplywaly jednak na zmiany wydatku ujmowanego metanu. · Analiza zmiany iloci ujmowanego metanu na tle zmian cinienie powietrza mierzonego w wyrobiskach nie wykazala zmian iloci metanu ujmowanego przez system odmetanowania. Ilo metanu ujta systemem odmetanowania w calym badanym okresie utrzymywala si na stalym poziomie. Ten system odmetanowania nie jest czuly na zmiany cinienia powietrza. Otwory drenaowe nie posiadaj bezporedniego polczenia ze stref oddzialywania otworów. Slowa kluczowe: odmetanowanie, system przewietrzania U, efektywno odmetanowania, zagroenie metanowe 1. Introduction The need to reduce methane emissions into excavations in order to prevent exceeding the permissible levels of methane concentration in the air flowing through excavations makes it necessary to apply rock-mass methane drainage as a preventive measure. It enables reducing methane emissions into the working area and shifting the areas with the highest concentration of methane to the back of the cavity caused by the extraction (Roszkowski & Szlzak, 1999; Szlzak & Korzec, 2010; Szlzak & Kubaczka, 2012; Skotniczy, 2013). Effective methane drainage in underground excavations not only improves safety, but also increases coal output from mine workings (Szlzak & Korzec, 2010; Szlzak & Kubaczka, 2012; Berger et al., 2010). In 2012, mining in Poland was conducted in 31 mines; in 21 of them, methane-bearing seams were mined and methane emissions were observed and recorded (Central Mining Institute, 2013). In three mines, methane-bearing seams were mined, but no methane emission was recorded. Reduction of methane hazard by means of coal seam degasification helps to improve work safety of miners as well as guarantees continuous machinery work by limiting the number of standstills resulting from switch-offs caused by exceeding critical values of methane concentration. In addition, effective methane drainage makes it possible to obtain methane as a natural source of energy, but also to reduce the negative influence on the environment caused by releasing methane into the atmosphere. In 2012, annual coal output from gassy seams in Poland amounted to 59.4 mln Mg (75 percent of the output); as for non-gassy seams, it amounted to 19.8 mln Mg (25 percent of the output). The total amount of methane released from the rock-mass subjected to exploitation was 828.2 mln m3, which gives an average emission of 1571.5 m3CH4/min (Central Mining Institute, 2013). 2. Geology and mining conditions of the mined longwall The exploitation of longwall D-2 took place in the developed part of the deposit at the depth ranging from 888 to 1047 m, in seam 410 whose thickness varied between 1.2 and 2.2 m. The roof strata were the following: gray shale, laminated, solid (0.0-2.0 m), sandy shale, interlayered with fine-grained solid sandstone (0.0-9.7 m), unsorted sandstone, solid (0.0-25.0 m), with occasional layers of sandy shale, coal n/d (0.0-1.0 m), sandy shale turning into unsorted sandstone (~30 m), shale (~1 m), coal seam 409/5 (~0.0-0.5 m), shale (~0.5 m), sandy shale (~1.50-5.50 m), shale (~2 m), fine-grained sandstone (~3 m), and coal seam 409/4 (3.10-3.50 m). The bottom of the seam consisted of the following strata: shale with sand and numerous imprints of Carboniferous plants (0.0-1.2 m), coal seam n/d (0.5 m), sandy shale, solid, turning into fine-grained sandstone (~10 m), very solid with occasional layers of sandy shale, and seam 411/1 with a thickness of 0.25-0.50 m. Figure 1 shows a map of seam 410, in which the localization of longwall D-2 is indicated. The longwall was extracted using a diagonal system from the boundaries of the field. The head- Fig. 1. A map of seam 410 in the area of longwall D-2 ings were drilled using supports with the profile V29-V36 and 0.6 to 0.8 m wide, depending on the geology and mining conditions; wherever a heading crossed a fault or a geological disruption, its supports were reinforced. In the headings, wider spaces or recesses were made to accommodate transformers, transporting devices, assembly rooms, etc. A plow system was implemented to extract the longwall. The highest recorded methane content in seam 410 was 9.508 m3CH4/Mg ccs. According to the forecast of absolute methane-bearing capacity, the maximum predicted amount of released methane was 36.78 m3/min at the rate of advance 7.25 m/d (coal output 3000 Mg/d). The distribution of methane release in percentage terms was as follows: · 25 percent from the mined seam · 42 percent from underworked strata · 33 percent from overworked strata. Longwall D-2 in seam 410 was ventilated using a U system with additional air supply provided by a ventilator and an air duct. The longwall D-2 in seam 410 was supplied with ca. 1500 m3/min via the upper entry D-2. An additional amount of air (500 m3/min) was directed via an air duct to the crossing of the face end and the bottom road. The return air from longwall D-2 was directed to shaft IV at the level 900 via the bottom road D-2. 3. The method of drilling drainage boreholes from the parallel headings In order to implement methane drainage in adjacent seams, it is necessary to determine the boundaries of the desorption zone created by exploiting the longwall. Drainage boreholes should be positioned in the decompressed zone without overlapping with the goaf area. Under the geological conditions prevalent in Poland, accurate results of calculating the slope angles of drainage boreholes are achieved by using the method described in (Flügge, 1971) and presented in Figure 2. The angles in Figure 2 refer to boreholes drilled in a direction parallel to the longwall face. Their inclination is approximately the same as the desorption angle. In case when boreholes are oblique relative to the longwall face, the values need to be adjusted accordingly. If boreholes are drilled from a parallel heading, it is necessary to take into account the width of the pillars separating the headings and to ensure that as much of the length of the borehole as possible remains in the decompressed zone. The length of the borehole is determined by geological conditions, primarily by the position of the methane-bearing coal seams. As long as it is technically feasible, it should be aimed that the boreholes reach all the seams in the decompressed zone (desorption zone). The altitude of the desorption zone depends on the length (L) of the longwall. Using the notation from Figure 2, the altitude of the desorption zone can be calculated with the following formula: hg (1) where and denote desorption zone angles. Fig. 2. Determination of methane desorption zone in a longwall during mining (Flügge, 1971) According to Figure 2, the slope angles between the desorption area and the level of the seam in a degasification area at a vertical plane will be calculated as follows: for the bottom road: = d ­ and for the upper entry: = d + where: -- slope angle of the mined seam, deg. As for the floor strata, the corresponding alternate angles are considered. Because the release of gases from the bottom layers is smaller than the calculated desorption zone would suggest, only half of the value of the desorption angles is assumed: 2 , 2 The resulting formula for calculating the desorption area for floor strata is as follows: hd (2) Figure 3 illustrates where drainage boreholes are drilled when a U system of longwall ventilation is used. In this system, air is supplied via the bottom road, passes through the longwall Fig. 3. A U ventilation system and is directed to the longwall front along the solid coal. Drainage boreholes are drilled from the overlying (ventilation) heading and are liquidated as the exploitation front moves on. After the headings had been drilled, drainage boreholes were made; their placement is shown in Figure 4. The boreholes were drilled in four bunches (KM 333, KM 353, KM 373, KM 400); their length ranged from 60 to 120 m and their diameter was 65 mm. At each station, there were five boreholes in each bunch, drilled into the roof strata and into the floor strata. The technical parametres of drainage boreholes are presented in Table 1. TABLE 1 The technical parametres of the drainage boreholes in the area of longwall D-2 in seam 410 Borehole no. Borehole Borehole diameter, mm Borehole length, m Deviation from the right angle, o Inclination, o TM29/12 TM30/12 TM31/12 TM32/12 TM33/12 TM151/12 TM152/12 TM153/12 TM154/12 TM155/12 TM441/12 23 to the left 8 to the left 7 to the right 22 to the right 32 to the right 23 to the left 8 to the left 7 to the right 22 to the right 32 to the right 42 to the right 15 15 17 20 20 -45 -45 -45 -35 -35 20 The drainage boreholes were then connected to a methane drainage pipeline with a diameter of 200 mm, installed in incline D-4 in seam 409/4. Despite creating negative pressure in the methane drainage station, no methane was collected as there was no decompression zone in seam 410. Methane concentration in the drainage boreholes fluctuated between 3 to 9 percent. This was caused by the absence of a decompression zone in the area where the boreholes were drilled. It had not been possible to capture methane from the boreholes drilled in incline D-4 in seam 409/4 until the extraction in longwall D-2 in seam 410 started and the area around the boreholes became decompressed. In May 2013, the amount of captured methane fluctuated between 0.5 and 3.0 m3CH4/min, while methane concentration was between 30 to 55 per cent. The two drainage boreholes drilled from the upper entry D-2 in seam 410 did not yield the predicted amount of methane because the direction of ventilation in longwall D-2 had been reversed to prevent temperature hazard. Fig. 4. The placement of drainage boreholes in the area of longwall D-2 in seam 410 After the ventilation system had been modified, drainage boreholes were designed and drilled in the bottom road D-2 (Fig. 5). The boreholes were drilled in bunches of four, separated by a distance of 18 m. During exploitation, four or five methane capture points operated at the face of longwall D-2, draining ca. 8 m3CH4/min, the value of methane concentration being above 50 percent. The parametres of the boreholes are listed in Tables 2 and 3. TABLE 2 Technical parametres of the drainage boreholes to be drilled from the upper entry D-2 in seam 410 Deviation of the Deviation of the Optimal Optimal BoreInclination Borehole borehole from the axis borehole from the axis inclination borehole hole of the length, of the heading onto of the heading onto the of the length, no. borehole, ° m the longwall face, ° longwall face (optimal), ° borehole, ° m 18÷22 22÷26 26÷30 30÷34 34÷38 +11÷+13 +15÷+17 +19÷+21 +25÷+27 +17÷+19 +12 +16 +20 +26 +18 85÷95 85÷95 85÷95 85÷95 85÷95 90* 90* 90* 90* 90* * The optimal borehole length is 60 m (±5 m) in the first bunch and 75 m (±5 m) in the second TABLE 3 Technical parametres of the drainage boreholes to be drilled from the bottom entry D-2 in seam 410 Deviation of the Deviation of the Optimal Optimal BoreInclination Borehole borehole from the axis borehole from the axis inclination borehole hole of the length, of the heading onto of the heading onto the of the length, no. borehole, ° m the longwall face, ° longwall face (optimal), ° borehole, ° m 22÷26 26÷30 30÷34 34÷38 +19÷+21 +23÷+25 +27÷+29 +31÷+33 +20 +24 +28 +32 85÷95 85÷95 85÷95 85÷95 90* 90* 90* 90* * The optimal borehole length is 60 m (±5 m) in the first bunch and 75 m (±5 m) in the second Fig. 5. The placement of drainage boreholes in the area of longwall D-2 in seam 410 after the ventilation system had been changed 4. The balance of methane release in the area of the mined longwall At longwall D-2 in seam 410, a study was conducted in order to assess the methane release and the efficiency of the methane drainage system. The study consisted in measuring methane concentration, air velocity, absolute pressure and the amount of methane captured by the drainage system. The measurements were based on values recorded by sensors for measuring methane and air velocity placed at longwall D-2 in seam 410. The placement of the sensors is presented in Figure 6. Regardless of the efforts to gauge methane content and air velocity, the progression of mining works and daily output were documented. The sensors that served to assess methane concentration were checked at set time intervals by comparing their indications with reference mixtures, while the values indicated by the sensors of air velocity were checked periodically by comparing their indications with those obtained through instantaneous measurements carried out with manual anemometres at the places where air velocity sensors were installed. The study was conducted in the period from April 2013 to the end of October 2013. The results made it possible to produce a balance of daily methane release in the mined area during the period under analysis. At the same time, average daily values of coal output, longwall advance and longwall life were calculated. In addition, the changes in methane concentration, air velocity and absolute air pressure at the outlet from the area were identified for the period under analysis. The numbers and placement of the sensors whose recorded values were used in the analysis are listed in Table 4. Fig. 6. The ventilation system of longwall D-2 in seam 410 with the location of the automated gas monitoring and the anemometric sensors The values indicated by the measuring devices and the measured amount of captured methane were used to trace the changes in the methane-bearing capacity of ventilation air, absolute methane-bearing capacity and the efficiency of methane drainage. During the period under analysis, the longwall face advanced by ca. 620 m. During this time, a maximum daily output of 3019 Mg/d was reached, while the average value was 1655 Mg/d. The greatest recorded longwall advance was 7.5 m/d, while on average its value was 2.94 m/d. The results of the measurements made it possible to produce a balance of daily methane release in the mined area for the period between April and October 2013. The daily fluctuations in absolute methane-bearing capacity, in the ventilation air methane as well as in the amount of captured methane and methane drainage efficiency were determined and compared with coal output and longwall life. The results are presented in Figure 7. TABLE 4 Numbers of automatic gas sensors and anemometric sensors used for calculations and their localization in longwall D-2 Sensor no. Sensor position An anemometric sensor situated in the upper entry D-2/410 (inlet) about 40-60 m behind AS-307 the crossing with the test heading D-3/410, in the clear cross-section of the excavation at the height of 2 m above the floor An anemometric sensor situated in the bottom road D-2/410 (outlet) about 10-25 m before AS-309 the crosscut pos. 900, in the clear cross-section of the excavation at the height of 2 m above the floor A methanometric sensor situated (not more than 10 cm) below the roof of the support in MM-80 the upper entry D-2/410, at a distance from the face end not greater than 10 m A methanometric sensor situated (not more than 10 cm) below the roof in the upper entry MM-93 D-2/410, about 40-60 m behind the crossing with the test heading D-3/410 (in the direction of longwall D-2 seam 410) A methanometric sensor situated (not more than 10 cm) below the roof in the bottom road MM-100 D-2/410, about 10-15 m before the crosscut pos. 900 (outlet from the area) A methanometric sensor situated (not more than 10 cm) below the roof in the bottom road MM-125 D-2/410, at a distance of 6-10 m from sensor no. 2 A methanometric sensor situated in the bottom road D-2/410 about 10-15 m before the MM-621 crosing with the crosscut pos. 900 The obtained methane balance for the area of mined longwall D-2 in seam 410 shows that absolute methane-bearing capacity ranged from 2.09 to 36.62 m3/min, whereas the average value was 24.07 m3/min. The methane-bearing capacity of ventilation air ranged from 2.09 to 26.55 m3/min, whereas the average value was 15.8 m3/min. Figures 8 to 10 show the variations in absolute methane-bearing capacity, the ventilation air methane and in the amount of captured methane, compared with coal output at particular 100-metre sections of the longwall life. The analysis of the results presented in the diagrams allows for the following conclusions: 1. 0 to 100 m (Fig. 8). During the start-up phase of mining it was observed that the level of absolute methane-bearing capacity showed a high degree of fluctuation within the range from 2.09 to 27.10 m3/min. Drops in the value of absolute methane-bearing capacity were recorded during non-mining periods and when daily coal output declined, its Fig. 7. Changes of absolute methane-bearing capacity, the ventilation air methane and the amount of drained methane compared with the coal output in the area of longwall D-2 average value during the period under analysis being 1278 Mg/d. Initially, the amount of captured methane was not recorded; then, its values increased gradually, their range being between 1.6 and 9.7 m3/min. 2. 100 to 200 m (Fig. 9). Absolute methane-bearing capacity was at a level from 11.84 to 22.44 m3/min and dropped during non-mining periods. The amount of captured methane ranged from 6.9 to 11.2 m3/min. The coal output was around 1922 Mg/d. 3. 200 to 300 m (Fig. 10). Absolute methane-bearing capacity was at a fairly steady level from ca. 17 to 25.58 m3/min, but also dropped during non-mining periods. The amount of captured methane ranged from 7.5 to 8.8 m3/min and remained more or less constant. The average coal output was 2192 Mg/d. During the entire analysed period, the greatest fluctuations of absolute methane-bearing capacity and coal output were detected during the start-up phase of mining until the longwall advanced to approx. 200 m. It was observed that despite an increase in the methane-bearing capacity of ventilation air, the amount of methane captured by the drainage system remained at a steady level, except for the start-up phase of mining the longwall (0 to 100 m). Therefore, it can be concluded that the adopted methane drainage system is an efficient preventive measure that reduces methane hazard during exploitation. During non-mining periods the release of methane into the working drops. Nevertheless, the amount of captured methane remains at the same level as when mining is in progress. Fig. 8. Changes of absolute methane-bearing capacity, the ventilation air methane and the amount of drained methane compared with the coal output in the area of longwall D-2 Fig. 9. Changes of absolute methane-bearing capacity, the ventilation air methane and the amount of drained methane compared with the coal output in the area of longwall D-2 Fig. 10. Changes of absolute methane-bearing capacity, the ventilation air methane and the amount of drained methane compared with the coal output in the area of longwall D-2 air and the amount of captured methane compared with the coal output in the area of longwall D-2 in seam 410 5. The evaluation of the influence of various factors on the methane-bearing capacity and the amount of captured methane during the life of longwall D-2 In an attempt to evaluate the obtained results in statistical terms, box plots were created of the properties measured during the advance of longwall D-2. The results were organized according to 50-metre sections of the longwall life. In the plots, points denote arithmetic means, boxes refer to 95 percent confidence intervals, while whiskers mark the smallest and the highest of the recorded values. The results are presented in Figures 11 to 14. Average methane-bearing capacity varied from 14.37 to 30.96 m3/min (Fig. 11), but its increase was continuous throughout the longwall life (except for the stretch between 100 to 150 m). At the same time, the average amount of methane captured by the methane drainage system rose from 3.92 to 10.47 m3/min (Fig. 12). During this time, the average efficiency of drainage initially increased from 20.45 to 51.36 percent and then dropped to remain at a level of 40 percent between the 150th and 620th metre of the longwall life (Fig. 13). During the period under analysis, the daily coal output fluctuated considerably between 1212 and 2457 Mg/d, while the average value was 1665 Mg/d (Fig. 14). In addition, the impact of coal output on methane-bearing capacity of the longwall was also assessed. The results obtained from longwall D-2 are presented in Figures 15 and 16. Figure 15 presents the changes in the amount of captured methane compared with coal output. It can be Fig. 11. Changes in absolute methane-bearing capacity compared with the face advance of longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 12. Changes in the amount of captured methane compared with the face advance of longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 13. Changes in the efficiency of methane drainage compared with the face advance of longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 14. Changes in coal output compared with the face advance of longwall D-2 in seam 410 observed that as coal output increases, the amount of captured methane remains at a fairly steady level ranging from the average value of 7 m3/min to 9.2 m3/min when the output was smaller (ca. 1700 Mg/d). The analysis of data presented in Figure 16 leads to the conclusion that the average methane drainage efficiency remains at a steady level of 40 percent regardless of the value of daily coal output. Figure 17 illustrates the changes in the amount of captured methane in relation to absolute methane-bearing capacity. It emerges that the increase in absolute methane-bearing capacity is correlated with a linear increase in the amount of methane obtained through drainage. Figure 18 shows the changes in the efficiency of drainage compared with absolute methane-bearing capacity. It can be observed that the efficiency of drainage dropped from 50.63 to 31 percent as absolute methanebearing capacity increased. Figure 20 shows how drainage efficiency dropped as the methanebearing capacity of the ventilation air increased. This relationship can be explained by the fact that the more methane is released at the longwall face, the less gas is captured by the drainage system. Fig. 15. Changes in the amount of captured methane compared with coal output from longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 16. Changes in the efficiency of methane drainage compared with coal output from longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 17. Changes in the amount of captured methane compared with absolute methane-bearing capacity in longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 18. Changes in the efficiency of methane drainage compared with absolute methane-bearing capacity in longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 19. Changes in the efficiency of methane drainage compared with the ventilation air methane in longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 20. Changes in methane concentration in longwall D-2 compared with the amount of captured methane Fig. 21. Changes in the amount of methane captured from longwall D-2 in seam 410 in relation to air pressure in the longwall area Figure 20 presents the changes in methane concentration compared with the amount of methane captured by the drainage system. As the amount of captured methane increased, the average methane concentration at the face end fluctuated between 0.55 and 1.27 percent and had a tendency to rise. Figure 21 shows changes in the amount of captured methane in relation to the fluctuations of air pressure measured in the excavations. It emerges that an increase in air pressure bears no influence on the amount of methane captured by the drainage system, which remained at a steady level throughout the period under analysis. The implemented methane drainage system is not vulnerable to changes in air pressure. The drainage boreholes are not connected directly with the area from which they collect mine air. 6. Conclusions The observations made in the area of longwall D-2, in which a U ventilation system from the boundaries of the field is implemented, justify the following conclusions: · As the face of the longwall advanced, the amount of captured methane and the efficiency of methane capture fluctuated. At the beginning of the progression, values were lower for both parametres. When the start-up phase was over, the values for both parametres increased and remained at a relatively stable level during mining. Also, an increase in the efficiency of methane drainage was observed. · As the mining works at the longwall continued, it was noticed that the amount of captured methane increases along with the rise of absolute methane-bearing capacity in the area. · Changes in coal output did not affect the amount of methane captured by the methane drainage system. · The analysis of the changes in the amount of captured methane in relation to the fluctuations of air pressure measured in the excavations revealed that an increase in air pressure bears no influence on the amount of methane captured by the drainage system, which remained at a steady level throughout the period under analysis. The implemented methane drainage system is not vulnerable to changes in air pressure. The drainage boreholes are not connected directly with the area from which they collect mine air. The article was prepared as a result of Strategic Project "Improving safety of work in mines", task 4, contract No. SP/K/4/143704/11 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Mining Sciences de Gruyter

The Effectiveness of the Methane Drainage of Rock-Mass with a U Ventilation System

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Abstract

Arch. Min. Sci., Vol. 61 (2016), No 3, p. 617­634 Electronic version (in color) of this paper is available: http://mining.archives.pl DOI 10.1515/amsc-2016-0044 NIKODEM SZLZAK*, JUSTYNA SWOLKIE* EFEKTYWNO ODMETANOWANIA GÓROTWORU PRZY SYSTEMIE PRZEWIETRZANIA U OD GRANIC Methane drainage is used in Polish coal mines in order to reduce mine methane emission as well as to keep methane concentration in mine workings at safe levels. The article describes the method of methane drainage used in longwall D-2 in seam 410. In Poland, coal seams are frequently mined under difficult geological conditions in the roof and in the presence of very high methane hazard. In such situations, mines usually use a system with roof caving and a U ventilation system, which means that methane is drawn off from a tail entry behind the longwall front. In this system, boreholes are drilled from a tailgate and methane is drawn off from behind longwall face. The article shows the influence of a specific ventilation system on the drainage efficiency at longwall D-2 in seam 410. At this longwall, measurements of methane emission and the efficiency of methane capture were conducted. They consisted in gauging methane concentration, air velocity, absolute air pressure and the amount of methane captured by the drainage system. Experimental data were used to estimate the variations in absolute methane-bearing capacity and ventilation methane, and ­ most importantly ­ to gauge the efficiency of methane drainage. Keywords: methane drainage, ventilation system, effectiveness of methane drainage, methane hazard Metan wystpujcy w pokladach wgla kamiennego stanowi powane zagroenie dla bezpieczestwa w podziemnych zakladach górniczych. Ograniczenie wyplywu metanu do przestrzeni wyrobisk górniczych, w celu niedopuszczenia do przekroczenia dopuszczalnych przepisami górniczymi ste metanu w powietrzu przeplywajcym przez wyrobiska, narzuca stosowanie rodków zapobiegajcych powstaniu zagroenia w postaci odmetanowania górotworu. Umoliwia ono ograniczenie wyplywu metanu do przestrzeni roboczej oraz odsunicie najwyszych ste metanu w glb przestrzeni zrobowej (Roszkowski i Szlzak, 1999; Szlzak i Korzec, 2010; Szlzak i Kubaczka, 2012; Skotniczy, 2013). Skuteczne odmetanowanie wgla w podziemnych wyrobiskach górniczych nie tylko poprawia bezpieczestwo, ale równie zwiksza wydobycie z wyrobisk eksploatacyjnych (Szlzak i Korzec, 2010; Szlzak i Kubaczka, 2012; Berger i in., 2010). * AGH UNIVERSITY OF MINING AND TECHNOLOGY, FACULTY OF MINING AND GEOENGINEERING, AL. A. MICKIEWICZA 30, 30-059 KRAKOW, POLAND. E-mail: szlazak@agh.edu.pl; swolkien@agh.edu.pl W Polsce, roku 2012, eksploatacja prowadzona byla w 31 kopalniach, z czego w 21 stwierdzono i rejestrowano wydzielanie metanu, a 15 z nich prowadzilo eksploatacj w warunkach IV najwyszej kategorii zagroenia metanowego (Glówny Instytut Górnictwa, 2013). W trzech kopalniach prowadzono eksploatacj pokladów metanowych jednak nie rejestrowano wydzielania metanu. Obnianie zagroenia metanowego poprzez odmetanowanie pokladów przyczynia si do poprawy bezpieczestwa zalóg górniczych oraz cigloci pracy maszyn zmniejszajc liczb postojów maszyn w wyniku wylcze energii elektrycznej po przekroczeniu wartoci krytycznych stenia metanu. Efektywne systemy odmetanowania to take moliwo pozyskiwania metanu, jako naturalnego ródla energii, ale równie ograniczanie ujemnych skutków na rodowisko naturalne wynikajcych z odprowadzania metanu do atmosfery. W artykule opisano metod odmetanowania górotworu przy wykorzystaniu sytemu przewietrzania U. Jako przyklad przedstawiono cian D-2 w pokladzie 410. Eksploatacja ciany D-2 prowadzona byla w rozpoznanej partii zloa na glbokoci od 888 m do 1047 m, w pokladzie 410 o miszoci od 1,2-2,2 m. Map pokladu 410 wraz z lokalizacj ciany D-2 przedstawiono na rysunku 1. Maksymalna zmierzona metanonono pokladu 410 wynosila 9,508 m3CH4/Mg csw. Prognoza metanowoci bezwzgldnej ciany D-2 w pokladzie 410 przewidywala maksymalne wydzielanie si metanu w iloci 36,78 m3/min. przy postpie 7,25 m/d (wydobycie 3000 Mg/dob). Udzial poszczególnych warstw w wydzielaniu metanu przedstawia si nastpujco: · z pokladu wybieranego ­ 25%, · z warstw podbieranych ­ 42%, · z warstw nadbieranych ­ 33%. ciana D-2 w pokladzie 410 przewietrzana byla systemem U z dowieaniem za pomoc wentylatora i lutniocigu. Powietrze do ciany D-2 w pokladzie 410 w iloci ok. 1500 m3/min doprowadzone bylo chodnikiem nadcianowym D-2. Dodatkowo w rejon skrzyowania wylotu ze ciany D-2 z chodnikiem podcianowym D-2, za pomoc lutniocigu doprowadzone bylo okolo 500 m3/min. W przypadku odmetanowywania pokladów ssiednich niezbdne jest okrelenie strefy desorpcji wywolanej eksploatacj ciany. Otwory drenaowe powinny by zlokalizowane tak, aby znajdowaly si w strefie odpronej, natomiast nie przecinaly strefy zawalu bezporedniego. W polskich warunkach geologicznych dobre wyniki daje wyznaczanie któw nachylenia otworów drenaowych zgodne z prac (Flügge, 1971), a przedstawionych na Rys. 2. Rozmieszczenie otworów drenaowych w rejonie badanej ciany przedstawiono na rysunku 4 ich parametry techniczne za w tabeli 1. Parametry techniczne planowanych otworów drenaowych z chodnika nadcianowego i podcianowego D-2 przedstawiono w tabelach 2 i 3. Celem artykulu bylo pokazanie jaki wplyw na efektywno odmetanowania ciany D-2 w pokladzie 410 mial dobór systemu przewietrzania U. W cianie D-2 w pokladzie 410 przeprowadzono badania wydzielania metanu i jego ujcia systemem odmetanowania. Badania polegaly na pomiarach stenia metanu, prdkoci powietrza, cinienia barometrycznego i iloci ujmowanego metanu systemem odmetanowania. Pomiary prowadzono w oparciu o czujniki metanometryczne i prdkoci powietrza umieszczone w cianie D-2 w pokladzie 410. Rozmieszczenie czujników przedstawiono na rysunku 6. Niezalenie od tego dokumentowano postp i wielko dobowego wydobycia ze ciany. Czujniki, na podstawie których okrelano stenia metanu kontrolowane byly okresowo poprzez porównanie ich wskaza z mieszankami wzorcowymi, natomiast czujniki prdkoci powietrza sprawdzano poprzez porównywanie ich wskaza z pomiarami chwilowymi wykonywanymi w miejscu ich zabudowy anemometrami rcznymi. Badania prowadzono w okresie od 01.04.2013 roku do koca padziernika (28.10.) 2013 roku. W omawianym czasie, na podstawie pomiarów, dokonano bilansu dziennego iloci wydzielajcego si metanu w rejonie eksploatacji. Jednoczenie obliczono dzienn wielko wydobycia, postpu i wybiegu ciany. Dodatkowo w zadanym okresie czasu okrelono przebiegi zmian stenia metanu na czujnikach metanometrycznych, prdkoci i cinienia barometrycznego na wylocie z rejonu. Numery czujników, na podstawie których dokonywano oblicze oraz ich lokalizacj przedstawiono w tabeli 4. Uzyskane dane oraz ilo metanu ujta odmetanowaniem posluyly do okrelenia przebiegu zmiennoci metanowoci wentylacyjnej, bezwzgldnej, a take okrelenia efektywnoci odmetanowania (Rys. 7-10). W celu przeprowadzenia oceny statystycznej wyników sporzdzono wykresy ramkowe wyznaczonych na podstawie pomiarów wielkoci na wybiegu eksploatowanych cian (Rys. 11-13). Dodatkowo dla ciany wykrelono zaleno wydobycia od wybiegu (Rys. 14). Analiza statystyczna obejmowala równie okrelenie przebiegu zmiennoci iloci metanu ujtego odmetanowaniem i jego efektywnoci od wydobycia (Rys. 15, 16) i od metanowoci bezwzgldnej (Rys. 17 i 18), a take efektywnoci odmetanowania od metanowoci wentylacyjnej (Rys. 19), stenia metanu od odmetanowania (Rys. 20) i iloci metanu ujtej odmetanowaniem od cinienia barometrycznego powietrza (Rys. 21). Przeprowadzone obserwacje w rejonie ciany D-2 prowadzonej systemem U od granic pozwalaj na nastpujce stwierdzenia: · W trakcie biegu ciany zmianie ulega wydatek ujmowanego metanu oraz efektywno odmetanowania. Na etapie rozruchu ciany zarówno metanowo bezwzgldna, jak równie ilo metanu ujmowanego przez odmetanowanie uzyskiwaly nisze wartoci. Po okresie rozruchu ciany parametry te wzrastaly i utrzymywaly si na wzgldnie stalym poziomie w czasie eksploatacji ciany. Wzrosla równie efektywno odmetanowania. · W czasie prowadzenia ciany stwierdzono wzrost ujcia metanu systemem odmetanowania wraz z narastaniem metanowoci bezwzgldnej w rejonie. · Zmiany wydobycia nie wplywaly jednak na zmiany wydatku ujmowanego metanu. · Analiza zmiany iloci ujmowanego metanu na tle zmian cinienie powietrza mierzonego w wyrobiskach nie wykazala zmian iloci metanu ujmowanego przez system odmetanowania. Ilo metanu ujta systemem odmetanowania w calym badanym okresie utrzymywala si na stalym poziomie. Ten system odmetanowania nie jest czuly na zmiany cinienia powietrza. Otwory drenaowe nie posiadaj bezporedniego polczenia ze stref oddzialywania otworów. Slowa kluczowe: odmetanowanie, system przewietrzania U, efektywno odmetanowania, zagroenie metanowe 1. Introduction The need to reduce methane emissions into excavations in order to prevent exceeding the permissible levels of methane concentration in the air flowing through excavations makes it necessary to apply rock-mass methane drainage as a preventive measure. It enables reducing methane emissions into the working area and shifting the areas with the highest concentration of methane to the back of the cavity caused by the extraction (Roszkowski & Szlzak, 1999; Szlzak & Korzec, 2010; Szlzak & Kubaczka, 2012; Skotniczy, 2013). Effective methane drainage in underground excavations not only improves safety, but also increases coal output from mine workings (Szlzak & Korzec, 2010; Szlzak & Kubaczka, 2012; Berger et al., 2010). In 2012, mining in Poland was conducted in 31 mines; in 21 of them, methane-bearing seams were mined and methane emissions were observed and recorded (Central Mining Institute, 2013). In three mines, methane-bearing seams were mined, but no methane emission was recorded. Reduction of methane hazard by means of coal seam degasification helps to improve work safety of miners as well as guarantees continuous machinery work by limiting the number of standstills resulting from switch-offs caused by exceeding critical values of methane concentration. In addition, effective methane drainage makes it possible to obtain methane as a natural source of energy, but also to reduce the negative influence on the environment caused by releasing methane into the atmosphere. In 2012, annual coal output from gassy seams in Poland amounted to 59.4 mln Mg (75 percent of the output); as for non-gassy seams, it amounted to 19.8 mln Mg (25 percent of the output). The total amount of methane released from the rock-mass subjected to exploitation was 828.2 mln m3, which gives an average emission of 1571.5 m3CH4/min (Central Mining Institute, 2013). 2. Geology and mining conditions of the mined longwall The exploitation of longwall D-2 took place in the developed part of the deposit at the depth ranging from 888 to 1047 m, in seam 410 whose thickness varied between 1.2 and 2.2 m. The roof strata were the following: gray shale, laminated, solid (0.0-2.0 m), sandy shale, interlayered with fine-grained solid sandstone (0.0-9.7 m), unsorted sandstone, solid (0.0-25.0 m), with occasional layers of sandy shale, coal n/d (0.0-1.0 m), sandy shale turning into unsorted sandstone (~30 m), shale (~1 m), coal seam 409/5 (~0.0-0.5 m), shale (~0.5 m), sandy shale (~1.50-5.50 m), shale (~2 m), fine-grained sandstone (~3 m), and coal seam 409/4 (3.10-3.50 m). The bottom of the seam consisted of the following strata: shale with sand and numerous imprints of Carboniferous plants (0.0-1.2 m), coal seam n/d (0.5 m), sandy shale, solid, turning into fine-grained sandstone (~10 m), very solid with occasional layers of sandy shale, and seam 411/1 with a thickness of 0.25-0.50 m. Figure 1 shows a map of seam 410, in which the localization of longwall D-2 is indicated. The longwall was extracted using a diagonal system from the boundaries of the field. The head- Fig. 1. A map of seam 410 in the area of longwall D-2 ings were drilled using supports with the profile V29-V36 and 0.6 to 0.8 m wide, depending on the geology and mining conditions; wherever a heading crossed a fault or a geological disruption, its supports were reinforced. In the headings, wider spaces or recesses were made to accommodate transformers, transporting devices, assembly rooms, etc. A plow system was implemented to extract the longwall. The highest recorded methane content in seam 410 was 9.508 m3CH4/Mg ccs. According to the forecast of absolute methane-bearing capacity, the maximum predicted amount of released methane was 36.78 m3/min at the rate of advance 7.25 m/d (coal output 3000 Mg/d). The distribution of methane release in percentage terms was as follows: · 25 percent from the mined seam · 42 percent from underworked strata · 33 percent from overworked strata. Longwall D-2 in seam 410 was ventilated using a U system with additional air supply provided by a ventilator and an air duct. The longwall D-2 in seam 410 was supplied with ca. 1500 m3/min via the upper entry D-2. An additional amount of air (500 m3/min) was directed via an air duct to the crossing of the face end and the bottom road. The return air from longwall D-2 was directed to shaft IV at the level 900 via the bottom road D-2. 3. The method of drilling drainage boreholes from the parallel headings In order to implement methane drainage in adjacent seams, it is necessary to determine the boundaries of the desorption zone created by exploiting the longwall. Drainage boreholes should be positioned in the decompressed zone without overlapping with the goaf area. Under the geological conditions prevalent in Poland, accurate results of calculating the slope angles of drainage boreholes are achieved by using the method described in (Flügge, 1971) and presented in Figure 2. The angles in Figure 2 refer to boreholes drilled in a direction parallel to the longwall face. Their inclination is approximately the same as the desorption angle. In case when boreholes are oblique relative to the longwall face, the values need to be adjusted accordingly. If boreholes are drilled from a parallel heading, it is necessary to take into account the width of the pillars separating the headings and to ensure that as much of the length of the borehole as possible remains in the decompressed zone. The length of the borehole is determined by geological conditions, primarily by the position of the methane-bearing coal seams. As long as it is technically feasible, it should be aimed that the boreholes reach all the seams in the decompressed zone (desorption zone). The altitude of the desorption zone depends on the length (L) of the longwall. Using the notation from Figure 2, the altitude of the desorption zone can be calculated with the following formula: hg (1) where and denote desorption zone angles. Fig. 2. Determination of methane desorption zone in a longwall during mining (Flügge, 1971) According to Figure 2, the slope angles between the desorption area and the level of the seam in a degasification area at a vertical plane will be calculated as follows: for the bottom road: = d ­ and for the upper entry: = d + where: -- slope angle of the mined seam, deg. As for the floor strata, the corresponding alternate angles are considered. Because the release of gases from the bottom layers is smaller than the calculated desorption zone would suggest, only half of the value of the desorption angles is assumed: 2 , 2 The resulting formula for calculating the desorption area for floor strata is as follows: hd (2) Figure 3 illustrates where drainage boreholes are drilled when a U system of longwall ventilation is used. In this system, air is supplied via the bottom road, passes through the longwall Fig. 3. A U ventilation system and is directed to the longwall front along the solid coal. Drainage boreholes are drilled from the overlying (ventilation) heading and are liquidated as the exploitation front moves on. After the headings had been drilled, drainage boreholes were made; their placement is shown in Figure 4. The boreholes were drilled in four bunches (KM 333, KM 353, KM 373, KM 400); their length ranged from 60 to 120 m and their diameter was 65 mm. At each station, there were five boreholes in each bunch, drilled into the roof strata and into the floor strata. The technical parametres of drainage boreholes are presented in Table 1. TABLE 1 The technical parametres of the drainage boreholes in the area of longwall D-2 in seam 410 Borehole no. Borehole Borehole diameter, mm Borehole length, m Deviation from the right angle, o Inclination, o TM29/12 TM30/12 TM31/12 TM32/12 TM33/12 TM151/12 TM152/12 TM153/12 TM154/12 TM155/12 TM441/12 23 to the left 8 to the left 7 to the right 22 to the right 32 to the right 23 to the left 8 to the left 7 to the right 22 to the right 32 to the right 42 to the right 15 15 17 20 20 -45 -45 -45 -35 -35 20 The drainage boreholes were then connected to a methane drainage pipeline with a diameter of 200 mm, installed in incline D-4 in seam 409/4. Despite creating negative pressure in the methane drainage station, no methane was collected as there was no decompression zone in seam 410. Methane concentration in the drainage boreholes fluctuated between 3 to 9 percent. This was caused by the absence of a decompression zone in the area where the boreholes were drilled. It had not been possible to capture methane from the boreholes drilled in incline D-4 in seam 409/4 until the extraction in longwall D-2 in seam 410 started and the area around the boreholes became decompressed. In May 2013, the amount of captured methane fluctuated between 0.5 and 3.0 m3CH4/min, while methane concentration was between 30 to 55 per cent. The two drainage boreholes drilled from the upper entry D-2 in seam 410 did not yield the predicted amount of methane because the direction of ventilation in longwall D-2 had been reversed to prevent temperature hazard. Fig. 4. The placement of drainage boreholes in the area of longwall D-2 in seam 410 After the ventilation system had been modified, drainage boreholes were designed and drilled in the bottom road D-2 (Fig. 5). The boreholes were drilled in bunches of four, separated by a distance of 18 m. During exploitation, four or five methane capture points operated at the face of longwall D-2, draining ca. 8 m3CH4/min, the value of methane concentration being above 50 percent. The parametres of the boreholes are listed in Tables 2 and 3. TABLE 2 Technical parametres of the drainage boreholes to be drilled from the upper entry D-2 in seam 410 Deviation of the Deviation of the Optimal Optimal BoreInclination Borehole borehole from the axis borehole from the axis inclination borehole hole of the length, of the heading onto of the heading onto the of the length, no. borehole, ° m the longwall face, ° longwall face (optimal), ° borehole, ° m 18÷22 22÷26 26÷30 30÷34 34÷38 +11÷+13 +15÷+17 +19÷+21 +25÷+27 +17÷+19 +12 +16 +20 +26 +18 85÷95 85÷95 85÷95 85÷95 85÷95 90* 90* 90* 90* 90* * The optimal borehole length is 60 m (±5 m) in the first bunch and 75 m (±5 m) in the second TABLE 3 Technical parametres of the drainage boreholes to be drilled from the bottom entry D-2 in seam 410 Deviation of the Deviation of the Optimal Optimal BoreInclination Borehole borehole from the axis borehole from the axis inclination borehole hole of the length, of the heading onto of the heading onto the of the length, no. borehole, ° m the longwall face, ° longwall face (optimal), ° borehole, ° m 22÷26 26÷30 30÷34 34÷38 +19÷+21 +23÷+25 +27÷+29 +31÷+33 +20 +24 +28 +32 85÷95 85÷95 85÷95 85÷95 90* 90* 90* 90* * The optimal borehole length is 60 m (±5 m) in the first bunch and 75 m (±5 m) in the second Fig. 5. The placement of drainage boreholes in the area of longwall D-2 in seam 410 after the ventilation system had been changed 4. The balance of methane release in the area of the mined longwall At longwall D-2 in seam 410, a study was conducted in order to assess the methane release and the efficiency of the methane drainage system. The study consisted in measuring methane concentration, air velocity, absolute pressure and the amount of methane captured by the drainage system. The measurements were based on values recorded by sensors for measuring methane and air velocity placed at longwall D-2 in seam 410. The placement of the sensors is presented in Figure 6. Regardless of the efforts to gauge methane content and air velocity, the progression of mining works and daily output were documented. The sensors that served to assess methane concentration were checked at set time intervals by comparing their indications with reference mixtures, while the values indicated by the sensors of air velocity were checked periodically by comparing their indications with those obtained through instantaneous measurements carried out with manual anemometres at the places where air velocity sensors were installed. The study was conducted in the period from April 2013 to the end of October 2013. The results made it possible to produce a balance of daily methane release in the mined area during the period under analysis. At the same time, average daily values of coal output, longwall advance and longwall life were calculated. In addition, the changes in methane concentration, air velocity and absolute air pressure at the outlet from the area were identified for the period under analysis. The numbers and placement of the sensors whose recorded values were used in the analysis are listed in Table 4. Fig. 6. The ventilation system of longwall D-2 in seam 410 with the location of the automated gas monitoring and the anemometric sensors The values indicated by the measuring devices and the measured amount of captured methane were used to trace the changes in the methane-bearing capacity of ventilation air, absolute methane-bearing capacity and the efficiency of methane drainage. During the period under analysis, the longwall face advanced by ca. 620 m. During this time, a maximum daily output of 3019 Mg/d was reached, while the average value was 1655 Mg/d. The greatest recorded longwall advance was 7.5 m/d, while on average its value was 2.94 m/d. The results of the measurements made it possible to produce a balance of daily methane release in the mined area for the period between April and October 2013. The daily fluctuations in absolute methane-bearing capacity, in the ventilation air methane as well as in the amount of captured methane and methane drainage efficiency were determined and compared with coal output and longwall life. The results are presented in Figure 7. TABLE 4 Numbers of automatic gas sensors and anemometric sensors used for calculations and their localization in longwall D-2 Sensor no. Sensor position An anemometric sensor situated in the upper entry D-2/410 (inlet) about 40-60 m behind AS-307 the crossing with the test heading D-3/410, in the clear cross-section of the excavation at the height of 2 m above the floor An anemometric sensor situated in the bottom road D-2/410 (outlet) about 10-25 m before AS-309 the crosscut pos. 900, in the clear cross-section of the excavation at the height of 2 m above the floor A methanometric sensor situated (not more than 10 cm) below the roof of the support in MM-80 the upper entry D-2/410, at a distance from the face end not greater than 10 m A methanometric sensor situated (not more than 10 cm) below the roof in the upper entry MM-93 D-2/410, about 40-60 m behind the crossing with the test heading D-3/410 (in the direction of longwall D-2 seam 410) A methanometric sensor situated (not more than 10 cm) below the roof in the bottom road MM-100 D-2/410, about 10-15 m before the crosscut pos. 900 (outlet from the area) A methanometric sensor situated (not more than 10 cm) below the roof in the bottom road MM-125 D-2/410, at a distance of 6-10 m from sensor no. 2 A methanometric sensor situated in the bottom road D-2/410 about 10-15 m before the MM-621 crosing with the crosscut pos. 900 The obtained methane balance for the area of mined longwall D-2 in seam 410 shows that absolute methane-bearing capacity ranged from 2.09 to 36.62 m3/min, whereas the average value was 24.07 m3/min. The methane-bearing capacity of ventilation air ranged from 2.09 to 26.55 m3/min, whereas the average value was 15.8 m3/min. Figures 8 to 10 show the variations in absolute methane-bearing capacity, the ventilation air methane and in the amount of captured methane, compared with coal output at particular 100-metre sections of the longwall life. The analysis of the results presented in the diagrams allows for the following conclusions: 1. 0 to 100 m (Fig. 8). During the start-up phase of mining it was observed that the level of absolute methane-bearing capacity showed a high degree of fluctuation within the range from 2.09 to 27.10 m3/min. Drops in the value of absolute methane-bearing capacity were recorded during non-mining periods and when daily coal output declined, its Fig. 7. Changes of absolute methane-bearing capacity, the ventilation air methane and the amount of drained methane compared with the coal output in the area of longwall D-2 average value during the period under analysis being 1278 Mg/d. Initially, the amount of captured methane was not recorded; then, its values increased gradually, their range being between 1.6 and 9.7 m3/min. 2. 100 to 200 m (Fig. 9). Absolute methane-bearing capacity was at a level from 11.84 to 22.44 m3/min and dropped during non-mining periods. The amount of captured methane ranged from 6.9 to 11.2 m3/min. The coal output was around 1922 Mg/d. 3. 200 to 300 m (Fig. 10). Absolute methane-bearing capacity was at a fairly steady level from ca. 17 to 25.58 m3/min, but also dropped during non-mining periods. The amount of captured methane ranged from 7.5 to 8.8 m3/min and remained more or less constant. The average coal output was 2192 Mg/d. During the entire analysed period, the greatest fluctuations of absolute methane-bearing capacity and coal output were detected during the start-up phase of mining until the longwall advanced to approx. 200 m. It was observed that despite an increase in the methane-bearing capacity of ventilation air, the amount of methane captured by the drainage system remained at a steady level, except for the start-up phase of mining the longwall (0 to 100 m). Therefore, it can be concluded that the adopted methane drainage system is an efficient preventive measure that reduces methane hazard during exploitation. During non-mining periods the release of methane into the working drops. Nevertheless, the amount of captured methane remains at the same level as when mining is in progress. Fig. 8. Changes of absolute methane-bearing capacity, the ventilation air methane and the amount of drained methane compared with the coal output in the area of longwall D-2 Fig. 9. Changes of absolute methane-bearing capacity, the ventilation air methane and the amount of drained methane compared with the coal output in the area of longwall D-2 Fig. 10. Changes of absolute methane-bearing capacity, the ventilation air methane and the amount of drained methane compared with the coal output in the area of longwall D-2 air and the amount of captured methane compared with the coal output in the area of longwall D-2 in seam 410 5. The evaluation of the influence of various factors on the methane-bearing capacity and the amount of captured methane during the life of longwall D-2 In an attempt to evaluate the obtained results in statistical terms, box plots were created of the properties measured during the advance of longwall D-2. The results were organized according to 50-metre sections of the longwall life. In the plots, points denote arithmetic means, boxes refer to 95 percent confidence intervals, while whiskers mark the smallest and the highest of the recorded values. The results are presented in Figures 11 to 14. Average methane-bearing capacity varied from 14.37 to 30.96 m3/min (Fig. 11), but its increase was continuous throughout the longwall life (except for the stretch between 100 to 150 m). At the same time, the average amount of methane captured by the methane drainage system rose from 3.92 to 10.47 m3/min (Fig. 12). During this time, the average efficiency of drainage initially increased from 20.45 to 51.36 percent and then dropped to remain at a level of 40 percent between the 150th and 620th metre of the longwall life (Fig. 13). During the period under analysis, the daily coal output fluctuated considerably between 1212 and 2457 Mg/d, while the average value was 1665 Mg/d (Fig. 14). In addition, the impact of coal output on methane-bearing capacity of the longwall was also assessed. The results obtained from longwall D-2 are presented in Figures 15 and 16. Figure 15 presents the changes in the amount of captured methane compared with coal output. It can be Fig. 11. Changes in absolute methane-bearing capacity compared with the face advance of longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 12. Changes in the amount of captured methane compared with the face advance of longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 13. Changes in the efficiency of methane drainage compared with the face advance of longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 14. Changes in coal output compared with the face advance of longwall D-2 in seam 410 observed that as coal output increases, the amount of captured methane remains at a fairly steady level ranging from the average value of 7 m3/min to 9.2 m3/min when the output was smaller (ca. 1700 Mg/d). The analysis of data presented in Figure 16 leads to the conclusion that the average methane drainage efficiency remains at a steady level of 40 percent regardless of the value of daily coal output. Figure 17 illustrates the changes in the amount of captured methane in relation to absolute methane-bearing capacity. It emerges that the increase in absolute methane-bearing capacity is correlated with a linear increase in the amount of methane obtained through drainage. Figure 18 shows the changes in the efficiency of drainage compared with absolute methane-bearing capacity. It can be observed that the efficiency of drainage dropped from 50.63 to 31 percent as absolute methanebearing capacity increased. Figure 20 shows how drainage efficiency dropped as the methanebearing capacity of the ventilation air increased. This relationship can be explained by the fact that the more methane is released at the longwall face, the less gas is captured by the drainage system. Fig. 15. Changes in the amount of captured methane compared with coal output from longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 16. Changes in the efficiency of methane drainage compared with coal output from longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 17. Changes in the amount of captured methane compared with absolute methane-bearing capacity in longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 18. Changes in the efficiency of methane drainage compared with absolute methane-bearing capacity in longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 19. Changes in the efficiency of methane drainage compared with the ventilation air methane in longwall D-2 in seam 410 Fig. 20. Changes in methane concentration in longwall D-2 compared with the amount of captured methane Fig. 21. Changes in the amount of methane captured from longwall D-2 in seam 410 in relation to air pressure in the longwall area Figure 20 presents the changes in methane concentration compared with the amount of methane captured by the drainage system. As the amount of captured methane increased, the average methane concentration at the face end fluctuated between 0.55 and 1.27 percent and had a tendency to rise. Figure 21 shows changes in the amount of captured methane in relation to the fluctuations of air pressure measured in the excavations. It emerges that an increase in air pressure bears no influence on the amount of methane captured by the drainage system, which remained at a steady level throughout the period under analysis. The implemented methane drainage system is not vulnerable to changes in air pressure. The drainage boreholes are not connected directly with the area from which they collect mine air. 6. Conclusions The observations made in the area of longwall D-2, in which a U ventilation system from the boundaries of the field is implemented, justify the following conclusions: · As the face of the longwall advanced, the amount of captured methane and the efficiency of methane capture fluctuated. At the beginning of the progression, values were lower for both parametres. When the start-up phase was over, the values for both parametres increased and remained at a relatively stable level during mining. Also, an increase in the efficiency of methane drainage was observed. · As the mining works at the longwall continued, it was noticed that the amount of captured methane increases along with the rise of absolute methane-bearing capacity in the area. · Changes in coal output did not affect the amount of methane captured by the methane drainage system. · The analysis of the changes in the amount of captured methane in relation to the fluctuations of air pressure measured in the excavations revealed that an increase in air pressure bears no influence on the amount of methane captured by the drainage system, which remained at a steady level throughout the period under analysis. The implemented methane drainage system is not vulnerable to changes in air pressure. The drainage boreholes are not connected directly with the area from which they collect mine air. The article was prepared as a result of Strategic Project "Improving safety of work in mines", task 4, contract No. SP/K/4/143704/11

Journal

Archives of Mining Sciencesde Gruyter

Published: Sep 1, 2016

References