Fast, accurate and reliable measurement of CH4
What is Mining and Mine Gas?
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth. Coal mining refers to the process of extracting coal from the ground. Since the 1880s, coal has been extracted due to its energy content has been widely used to generate electricity. For example, steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron and for cement production. Coal mining has seen many developments in recent years, from the early days of men tunnelling, digging, and manually extracting the coal on carts to large open cut and long wall mines. Modern mining at this scale requires the use of draglines, trucks, conveyors, hydraulic jacks and shearers.
During the process of underground mining, workers have to enter and work in confined spaces. This is hazardous due to the dangers created by Methane (CH4) gas which occurs in mine gas and is released from the extraction of coal.
Mine Gas is a natural product, produced during the geochemical conversion of organic substances to Coal (during carbonisation). The main constituents of mine gas are Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide and Methane. If blasting operations are used in the mine, then Carbon Monoxide (CO) can occur in large quantities. In addition, Hydrogen Sulphide can be present. Mine gas is present both as liberated gas, in fissures, and as absorbed gas on the inner surface of the coal. During mining operations the mine gas is released, which is a hazard due to its flammability. When it mixes with the air it could cause a fire and explosive risk.
How are Gas Sensors used in Mining?
Gas sensing is essential within the mining industry because ventilation with fresh air from the surface is used to dilute the methane concentration and reduce the risk of explosion.
Monitoring of the methane content of the stale air exiting the mine allows the amount of ventilation to be controlled. Although our sensors are not ATEX approved for use in potentially explosive atmospheres they are suitable for monitoring air containing methane concentrations below the lower explosive limit. Our OEM products can be built into equipment which is approved for use in the monitoring of mine exhaust gas and similar applications.
- Why not have a read of this application note to find out more about methane sensing for coal mining using our gas sensors.
Which Edinburgh Sensors Products are Suitable for Mining?
If you are looking for a gas sensor for use within the mining industry, have a browse of our relevant products and don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like further information.