Methods of Control

Prevention of underground coal dust explosions requires
a multi-pronged approach involving:
No one of these methods is sufficient in itself
and can easily fail
  • Elimination of ignition sources for methane
  • Elimination of accumulations of methane
  • Preventing the accumulation of fine coal dust
  • Inerting coal dust accumulations – stone dusting – the application of large quantities of finely crushed stone dust (limestone) to render fine coal dust incombustible
  • Inerting airborne coal dust/roadway dust – passive explosion barriers -storing a quantity of stone dust or water in a mine roadway in such a way that an explosion causes its dispersal to render the airborne dust cloud incombustible
  • Methane only requires small ignition sources from electrical equipment or frictional sparking
  • Methane is ever present in most coal mines and can accumulate in any unventilated or poorly ventilated area
  • Mining operations always produce fine coal which is carried on the airstream into the returns where it accumulates
  • Stone dusting requires continual renewal as new coal dust is formed during mining
  • Explosion barriers provide a means of defense against coal dust explosions so long as the design, installation and maintenance of the barriers are adequate