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Coalbed methane: from hazard to resource

International Journal of Coal Geology

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DOI: 10.1016/S0166-5162(97)00043-8

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Abstract

Coalbed gas, which mainly consists of methane, has remained a major hazard affecting safety and productivity in underground coal mines for more than 100 yr. Coalbed gas emissions have resulted in outbursts and explosions where ignited by open lights, smoking or improper use of black blasting powder, and machinery operations. Investigations of coal gas outbursts and explosions during the past century were aimed at predicting and preventing this mine hazard. During this time, gas emissions were diluted with ventilation by airways (eg, tunnels, vertical and horizontal drillholes, shsfts) and by drainage boreholes. The 1970s 'energy crisis' led to studies of the feasibility of producing the gas for commercial use. Subsequent research on the origin, accumulation, distribution, availability, and recoverability has been pursued vigorously during the past two decades. Since the 1970s research investigations on the causes and effects of coal mine outbursts and gas emissions have led to major advances towards the recovery and development of coalbed methane for commercial use. Thus, coalbed methane as a mining hazard was harnessed as a conventional gas resource.Coalbed gas, which mainly consists of methane, has remained a major hazard affecting safety and productivity in underground coal mines for more than 100 years. Coalbed gas emissions have resulted in outbursts and explosions where ignited by open lights, smoking or improper use of black blasting powder, and machinery operations. Investigations of coal gas outbursts and explosions during the past century were aimed at predicting and preventing this mine hazard. During this time, gas emissions were diluted with ventilation by airways (e.g., tunnels, vertical and horizontal drillholes, shafts) and by drainage boreholes. The 1970's `energy crisis' led to studies of the feasibility of producing the gas for commercial use. Subsequent research on the origin, accumulation, distribution, availability, and recoverability has been pursued vigorously during the past two decades. Since the 1970's research investigations on the causes and effects of coal mine outbursts and gas emissions have led to major advances towards the recovery and development of coalbed methane for commercial use. Thus, coalbed methane as a mining hazard was harnessed as a conventional gas resource.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Coalbed methane: from hazard to resource
Series title:
International Journal of Coal Geology
DOI:
10.1016/S0166-5162(97)00043-8
Volume
35
Issue:
1-4
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier Sci B.V.
Publisher location:
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
International Journal of Coal Geology
First page:
3
Last page:
26