A Field Study of Longwall Mine Ventilation Using Tracer Gas in a Trona Mine
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A Field Study of Longwall Mine Ventilation Using Tracer Gas in a Trona Mine

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  • Alternative Title:
    Min Metall Explor
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    A ventilation research study was conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and a cooperating trona mine in the Green River basin of Wyoming, USA. The mine operation uses the longwall mining method in trona bed 17, a commonly mined unit in the region. The longwall face length is 228 m (750 ft), and caving on the face occurred up to the back of the longwall shields. The mine is ventilated using a main blowing fan and a bleeder shaft. For this study, sulfur hexafluoride (SF|) tracer gas was released in two separate monitoring experiments. For the first experiment, tracer gas was released on the face, this test focused on airflow along the longwall face of the active panel. Face test showed the airflow patterns to be more complex than just head-to-tail flow in the main ventilation air stream on the active panel. For the second experiment, tracer gas was released 2 crosscuts inby the face on the headgate side, this test focused on gas transport in the mined-out portion of the same active panel. Gob test showed a pathway of movement through the front of the active panel gob that moved outby from the tailgate corner. The primary pathway of tracer gas movement in the active panel gob was towards the headgate and tailgate bleeders and out of a bleeder shaft. The rate of movement towards the back of the gob was measured to be 0.19 m/s (37 fpm).
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