Gas Analysis Associated with Mine Heating and Fires
One of the highest potential hazards which can occur in underground mines is that of mine fires and explosions. Mine fires and explosions have the potential to cause extreme bodily harm including death and lead to large economic and environmental loss. The incidence of mine fires appears not to be declining, despite greatly improved methods of mine environmental design and hazard control. (McPherson, 2008) It is therefore critical to have effective gas analysis procedures in place for the early detection and continued monitoring of mine heatings and fires. Real time monitoring and tube bundle systems along with gas chromatography are common analysis techniques used universally. However uncertainties arise during data interpretation and indication of spontaneous combustion can become ambiguous. The advantages and limitations of ratios including Graham’s, Young’s, Willet’s, Jones and Trickett’s and oxides of carbon will be discussed in detail to determine the effectiveness of each in regards to mine heatings and fires.
An effective gas monitoring system should include real time sensors, a tube bundle system and a gas chromatograph. Each technique has its own limitations and advantages for example in the event of an explosion real time monitoring sensors may be destroyed. Although used in conjunction display sound results. It should also be noted that interpretation of collected data is best done over a trend rather than a one off sample. This allows for any unavoidable inaccuracies with equipment and measurements taken. Once a sample has been taken it is then analysed using the different ratios.
The understanding of oxygen deficiency (ΔO2), a component of Graham’s, Young’s and Jones and Trickett’s ratios, is imperative but may produce some limitations. Oxygen deficiency is a measure of the oxygen that has been consumed and is based on two assumptions.
* The air has been supplied with 20.93% oxygen and...