The Use of a Unipore Diffusion Model to Describe the Kinetics of Methane Release from Coal Spoil in the Longwall Environment

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Abstract

The unipore methane diffusion model based on the solution of the second Fick’s law describes effectively the kinetics of methane release from coal grains. The knowledge of the model describing the kinetics of methane release from coal, the coalbed methane content, the sorption isotherm, the effective diffusion coefficient and the coal particle size distribution, enables the calculation of the volume of methane which is released from the coal spoil as a function of time. These assumptions became the basis for building the software that enables the analysis of methane emissions from coal during the longwall mining. Simulations were performed to determine the temporal and spatial methane inflow to the longwall. The share of methane emission from coal grains (taking into account both the emission kinetics and mass participation) of various classes has been analyzed. The results of the analysis showed that the methane from the small grains, in particular less than 0.1 mm in size, prevails. The mass fraction of these grains in the total weight does not exceed 5%. For the typical parameters determining the mining, geological and technological conditions of methane emissions at different moments of time and position of the longwall were determined.

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