Methane is accompanied by most of the coal deposits. The methane hazard is excessive content of this gas in the mining excavations. This is a source of high risk security and continuity of the mine. The Piast–Ziemowit is the only non-methane mine in the Polish Mining Group. In 2015, 66,4% of the coal mined in Kompania Węglowa S.A. mines comes from methane coal seams. Methane drainage is the most effective but very costly method of combating methane hazard.The costs of prevention and eradication of methane hazard is charged to the costs of coal mining. Therefore, performance of methane drainage in the mines of the Polish Mining Group is adapted to the scale of the methane hazard. The article presents an analysis of the costs of prevention of methane hazard for mines with different absolute methane and its impact on the level of these costs.
Methane explosions are among the greatest hazards in the Polish coal mining industry and unfortunately continue to cause many catastrophes. The constant growth of the depth of coal exploitation in the conditions of the high concentration of mining causes the increase of absolute methane content and methane seam pressure from the mined seams. This situation directly affects the increase in the level of methane hazard in the underground work environment. It is therefore obvious to undertake intensive research that will allow for the development of appropriate solutions that help to exclude the risk of mining catastrophes resulting from the ignition and/or methane explosion. In addition to the development of methane hazard prevention methods, an indispensable element of this approach is a very accurate identification of the mechanisms of the combustion and explosion of this gas. The article presents the method of investigation and examples of results of methane explosions carried out in the 400 m experimental gallery of the Experimental Mine “Barbara” of the Central Mining Institute – the only large scale underground experimental facility in Europe. A n analysis has been performed of the influence of the methane release into mining workings on the distribution of the gas concentration and on the course of its explosion or combustion. The data collected characterizes thermodynamic phenomena that form the basis for determining the level of the explosion hazard. Large scale studies have also allowed to assess the risk of conditions that are sufficient for the development of a coal dust explosion initiated by methane explosions. The large scale of the experiments and the system of continuous recording of the course of the experiments allowed the specific characteristics of the methane explosion and burning in underground mining workings to be identified and isolated. For the first time, the course of experiments was recorded via a camera system deployed along the gallery.
Uncontrolled emissions of landfill gas may contribute significantly to climate change, since its composition represents a high fraction of methane, a greenhouse gas with 100- year global warming potential 25 times that of carbon dioxide. Landfill cover could create favourable conditions for methanotrophy (microbial methane oxidation), an activity of using bacteria to oxidize methane to carbon dioxide. This paper presents a brief review of methanotrophic activities in landfill cover. Emphasis is given to the effects of cover materials, environmental conditions and landfill vegetation on the methane oxidation potential, and to their underlying effect mechanisms. Methanotrophs communities and methane oxidation kinetics are also discussed. Results from the overview suggest that well-engineered landfill cover can substantially increase its potential for reducing emissions of methane produced in landfill to the atmosphere.
The paper discusses the current situation as well as the perspectives for hard coal extraction in India, a global leader both in terms of hard coal output and import volumes. Despite this, over 300 million people lack access to electricity in this country. The main energy resource of India is hard coal and Coal India Limited (CI L) is the world’s biggest company dealing with hard coal extraction. CI L has over 450 mines, employs over 400,000 people, and extracts ca. 430 million tons of hard coal from its 471 mining facilities. India is planning the decisive development of hard coal mining to extract 1.5 billion tons in 2020. Hard coal output in India can be limited due to the occurrence of various threats, including the methane threat. The biggest methane threat occurs in the mines in the Jharia basin, located in East India (the Jharkhand province), where coal methane content is up to ca. 18 m3/Mg. Obtaining methane from coal seams is becoming a necessity. The paper provides guidelines for the classification of particular levels of the methane threat in Indian’s mines. The results of methane sorption tests, carried by the use of the microgravimetric method on coal from the Moonidih mine were presented. Sorption capacities and the diffusion coefficient of methane on coal were determined. The next step was to determine the possibility of degassing the seam, using numerical methods based on the value of coal diffusion coefficient based on Crank’s diffusion model solution. The aim of this study was the evaluation of coal seam demethanization possibilities. The low diffusivity of coal, combined with a minor network of natural cracks in the seam, seems to preclude foregoing demethanization carried out by means of coal seam drilling, without prior slotting.
The essence of the methane fermentation course is the phase nature of changes taking place during the process. The biodegradation degree of sewage sludge is determined by the effectiveness of the hydrolysis phase. Excess sludge, in the form of a ﬂocculent suspension of microorganisms, subjected to the methane fermentation process show limited susceptibility to the biodegradation. Excess sludge is characterized by a signiﬁcant content of volatile suspended solids equal about 65 ÷ 75%. Promising technological solution in terms of increasing the efﬁciency of fermentation process is the application of thermal modiﬁcation of sludge with the use of dry ice. As a result of excess sludge disintegration by dry ice, denaturation of microbial cells with a mechanical support occurs. The crystallization process takes place and microorganisms of excess sludge undergo the so-called “thermal shock”. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of dry ice disintegration on the course of the methane fermentation process of the modiﬁed excess sludge. In the case of dry ice modiﬁcation reagent in a granular form with a grain diameter of 0.6 mm was used. Dry ice was mixed with excess sludge in a volume ratio of 0.15/1, 0.25/1, 0.35/1, 0.45/1, 0.55/1, 0.65/1, 0.75/1, respectively. The methane fermentation process lasting for 8 and 28 days, respectively, was carried out in mesophilic conditions at 37°C. In the ﬁrst series untreated sludge was used, and for the second and third series the following treatment parameters were applied: the dose of dry ice in a volume ratio to excess sludge equal 0.55/1, pretreatment time 12 hours. The increase of the excess sludge disintegration degree, as well as the increase of the digestion degree and biogas yield, was a conﬁrmation of the supporting operation of the applied modiﬁcation. The mixture of reactant and excess sludge in a volume ratio of 0.55/1 was considered the most favorable combination. In relation to not prepared sludge for the selected most favorable conditions of excess sludge modiﬁcation, about 2.7 and 3-fold increase of TOC and SCOD values and a 2.8-fold increase in VFAs concentration were obtained respectively. In relation to the effects of the methane fermentation of non-prepared sludge, for modiﬁed sludge, about 33 percentage increase of the sludge digestion degree and about 31 percentage increase of the biogas yield was noticed.
The paper presents the investigations aimed at the determination of the effect of time and wavelength of ultrasound field on the value of capillary suction time (CST), sludge thickening and dry matter of the excess sludge subjected to the process of stabilization. The investigations were carried out on the excess sludge which comes from communal waste treatment plant. The sludge was exposed to ultrasound field, using ultrasound generator with power of 1500 W, frequency of 20 kHz and amplitude 39.42 μm (which corresponded to the amplitude of 100%). Sonication of the sludge was carried out for different amplitudes and sonication times. The non-conditioned sludge and the sludge initially conditioned with ultrasound field were subjected to the process of stabilization in laboratory flasks (V = 0.5 dm3) for the period of 10 days. On each day, sludge thickening and dewatering capacities were determined. The sludge subjected to the effect of ultrasound field exhibited elevated levels of CST. However, the sonication time had positive effect on the increase in the degree of thickening for each of the amplitudes studied. Also, the process of stabilization positively affected final thickening and dewatering of the sludge.
The evaluation of threats connected with the presence of methane in coal seams is based on our knowledge of the total content of this gas in coal. The most important parameter determining the potential of coal seams to accumulate methane is the sorption capacity of coal a. It is heavily influenced by the degree of coalification of the coal substance, determined by the vitrinite reflectance R0 or the content of volatile matter V daf. The relationship between the degree of coalification and the sorption capacity in the area of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB) has not been thoroughly investigated, which is due to the zonation of methane accumulation in this area and the considerable changeability of methane content in various localities of the Basin. Understanding this relationship call for in-depth investigation, especially since it depends on the analyzed reflectance range. The present work attempts to explain the reasons for which the sorption capacity changes along with the degree of coalification in the area of Jastrzębie (the Zofiówka Monocline). The relationship between parameters R0 and V daf was investigated. The authors also analyzed changes of the maceral composition, real density and the micropore volume. Furthermore, coalification-dependent changes in the sorption capacity of the investigated coal seams were identified. The conducted analyses have indicated a significant role of petrographic factors in relation to the accumulation properties of the seams located in the investigated area of USCB.
Anaerobic digestion is an important technology for the bio-based economy. The stability of the process is crucial for its successful implementation and depends on the structure and functional stability of the microbial community. In this study, the total microbial community was analyzed during mesophilic fermentation of sewage sludge in full-scale digesters. The digesters operated at 34–35°C, and a mixture of primary and excess sludge at a ratio of 2:1 was added to the digesters at 550 m3/d, for a sludge load of 0.054 m3/(m3·d). The amount and composition of biogas were determined. The microbial structure of the biomass from the digesters was investigated with use of next-generation sequencing. The percentage of methanogens in the biomass reached 21%, resulting in high quality biogas (over 61% methane content). The abundance of syntrophic bacteria was 4.47%, and stable methane production occurred at a Methanomicrobia to Synergistia ratio of 4.6:1.0. The two most numerous genera of methanogens (about 11% total) were Methanosaeta and Methanolinea, indicating that, at the low substrate loading in the digester, the acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic paths of methane production were equally important. The high abundance of the order Bacteroidetes, including the class Cytophagia (11.6% of all sequences), indicated the high potential of the biomass for efficient degradation of lignocellulitic substances, and for degradation of protein and amino acids to acetate and ammonia. This study sheds light on the ecology of microbial groups that are involved in mesophilic fermentation in mature, stably-performing microbiota in full-scale reactors fed with sewage sludge under low substrate loading.
Methane (CH4) sensitivity of zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film has been studied in the present work. The sensor element comprises of a chemically fabricated ZnO semiconducting layer and a layer of palladium (Pd) as catalyst. The catalyst layer was formed on the surface of semiconducting ZnO following a wet chemical process from palladium chloride (PdCl2) solution. Fundamental features of a sensor element e.g. sensitivity, response time and recovery process has been studied. The effect of operating temperature on performance of the sensor material has been investigated and a choice of optimum temperature was made at around 200oC. The sensor element exhibited reasonable sensitivity of about 86% at this temperature in presence of 1 vol% methane (CH4) in air.
The aim of this paper is an analysis of the variability of the methane content in coal seams in the area of the Dębieńsko Mine and it’s relation to the geological structure of this coal deposit, and also the possibilities of a methane hazard in the areas of future coal mining and methane utilization as a fuel. The Dębieńsko coal deposit is located in the western part of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB), on the boundary between folded and disjunctive tectonic zones. Coal exploitation in this area ended in 2000, but interest in this deposit is currently high due to plans to initiate coking coal mining. The area of the Dębieńsko mine is relatively well prospected because of the deep drillings (up to 2000 m in depth) carried out within it. The methane conditions of the deposit are varied, the methane content increases with depth according to northern pattern of methane distribution in the USCB, in which the high-methane zone occurs under the several hundred meters zone of natural outgassing of the coal seams. This zone is divided into two smaller methane sub-zones, the first (shallower) at a depth of 1000 m and the second (deeper) at 1700–1900 m. A sub-zone of lower methane content occurs between these two high-methane sub-zones. The most important reasons for this methane distribution are temperature and pressure facilitating the gas adsorption in coal seams, and also the presence of impermeable siltstones and shalestones as well as the maceral composition and coal rank of coal seams. The methane content also changes laterally in accordance with the tectonics of the area. The so called Knurów and Leszczyna Anticline with found increased methane content in coal seams in relation to neighboring areas as well as Orlova Overthrust together with the system of latitudinal faults of brittle tectonic regime which are possible pathways for methane migration play a special role here. These structures can be taken into account as a potential source of methane hazard in a future coal mine, they can also be promising structures for methane prospection as a fuel.
The methane hazard is one of the most dangerous phenomena in hard coal mining. In a certain range of concentrations, methane is flammable and explosive. Therefore, in order to maintain the continuity of the production process and the safety of work for the crew, various measures are taken to prevent these concentration levels from being exceeded. A significant role in this process is played by the forecasting of methane concentrations in mine headings. This very problem has been the focus of the present article. Based on discrete measurements of methane concentration in mine headings and ventilation parameters, the distribution of methane concentration levels in these headings was forecasted. This process was performed on the basis of model-based tests using the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The methodology adopted was used to develop a structural model of the region under analysis, for which boundary conditions were adopted on the basis of the measurements results in real-world conditions. The analyses conducted helped to specify the distributions of methane concentrations in the region at hand and determine the anticipated future values of these concentrations. The results obtained from model-based tests were compared with the results of the measurements in realworld conditions. The methodology using the CFD and the results of the tests offer extensive possibilities of their application for effective diagnosis and forecasting of the methane hazard in mine headings.
In this review, research carried out on sorption-enhanced steam methane reforming (SESMR) process is presented and discussed. The reactor types employed to carry out this process, fixed packed bed and fluidized bed reactors, are characterized as well as their main operating conditions indicated. Also the concepts developed and investigations performed by the main research groups involved in the subject are summarized. Next the catalysts and CO2 sorbents developed to carry out SE-SMR are characterized and the relationships describing the reaction and sorption kinetics are collected. A general approach to model the process is presented as well as results obtained for a calculation example, which demonstrate the main properties of SE-SMR.
This paper describes the concept of controlling the advancement speed of the shearer, the objective of which is to eliminate switching the devices off to the devices in the longwall and in the adjacent galleries. This is connected with the threshold limit value of 2% for the methane concentration in the air stream flowing out from the longwall heading, or 1% methane in the air flowing to the longwall. Equations were formulated which represent the emission of methane from the mined body of coal in the longwall and from the winnings on the conveyors in order to develop the numerical procedures enabling a computer simulation of the mining process with a longwall shearer and haulage of the winnings. The distribution model of air, methane and firedamp, and the model of the goaf and a methanometry method which already exist in the Ventgraph-Plus programme, and the model of the methane emission from the mined longwall body of coal, together with the model of the methane emission from the winnings on conveyors and the model of the logic circuit to calculate the required advancement speed of the shearer together all form a set that enables simulations of the control used for a longwall shearer in the mining process. This simulation provides a means for making a comparison of the output of the mining in the case of work using a control system for the speed advancement of the shearer and the mining performance without this circuit in a situation when switching the devices off occurs as a consequence of exceeding the 2% threshold limit value of the methane concentration. The algorithm to control a shearer developed for a computer simulation considers a simpler case, where the logic circuit only employs the methane concentration signal from a methane detector situated in the longwall gallery close to the longwall outlet.
In this study, the turbulent non-premixed methane-air flame is simulated to determine the effect of air velocity on the length of flame, temperature distribution and mole fraction of species. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique is used to perform this simulation. To solve the turbulence flow, k-ε model is used. In contrast to the previous works, in this study, in each one of simulations the properties of materials are taken variable and then the results are compared. The results show that at a certain flow rate of fuel, by increasing the air velocity, similar to when the properties are constant, the width of the flame becomes thinner and the maximum temperature is higher; the penetration of oxygen into the fuel as well as fuel consumption is also increased. It is noteworthy that most of the pollutants produced are NOx, which are strongly temperature dependent. The amount of these pollutants rises when the temperature is increased. As a solution, decreasing the air velocity can decrease the amount of these pollutants. Finally, comparing the result of this study and the other work, which considers constant properties, shows that the variable properties assumption leads to obtaining more exact solution but the trends of both results are similar.