ACARP ACARP ACARP ACARP
Underground

Mine Fire Simulation in Australian Mines using Computer Software

Underground » Detection and Prevention of Fires and Explosions

Published: November 04Project Number: C12026

Get ReportAuthor: Stewart Gillies, Andrzej Wala, Hsin Wei Wu | University of Queensland, University of Kentucky

A comprehensive research project into mine fires study applying the VENTGRAPH mine fire simulation software, preplanning of escape scenarios and general interaction with rescue responses has been completed. The project relied on substantial mining company and site support to allow the approach to be introduced in the most creditable way. The Australian mining industry is in an improved position in their understanding of mine fires and the use of modern advances to preplan for mine fires and the handling of possible emergency incidents.

The essential work program of the project was built around the introduction of fire simulation computer software and the consequent modelling of fire scenarios in selected mine with different layouts. Some technology transfer at technical seminars has occurred. The theory of fire behaviour and fire control in the underground mine environment is complex. Application of the simulation software package to the changing mine layouts requires experience to achieve realistic outcomes. The research program was managed through a team from the University of Queensland. It has drawn on the experience of overseas experts who provided support to the project, namely Dr Andrzej Wala of the University of Kentucky and Dr Waclaw Dziurzynski from the Polish Academy of Sciences. The commitment of industry bodies with interest in mine fires was vital. Support and advice were sought from the relevant sectors and agencies across state boundaries.

Most Australian mines currently use a ventilation network simulation program. Under the project a small subroutine has been written to transfer the input data from the existing mine ventilation network simulation program "Ventsim" to "Ventgraph". It is necessary to understand the range of effects of mine fires on various mine ventilation systems correctly before the effects of simulation of fire behaviour on the mine ventilation system can be attempted. Case studies demonstrating the possible effects of fires on some typical Australian coal mine ventilation layouts have been examined. Development panel arrangements presents a variety of situations and some cases where reversal of ventilation air may occur have been highlighted. Unstable and dangerous situations may arise under some situations in which there is gas make at the face and a fire occurs.

The importance of understanding complex ventilation networks such as those with diagonal connections has been discussed. It is important to identify and understand their potential effects on the mine ventilation network as the airflow through the diagonal connections could reverse or stop due to the changes in the adjoining branches within the ventilation network. Mining companies need to identify the existing and potential diagonal connections in their ventilation system and analyse how these connections will affect their ventilation system especially in the case of fires. Training is necessary to equip mine ventilation personnel how to identify and minimize diagonal connections in their ventilation system.

Case studies have been developed to examine usage of inertisation tools and particularly application of the Polish developed jet engine unit, the Gorniczy Agregat Gasniczy (GAG). Gorniczy Agregat Gasniczy loosely translates to Mining Apparatus Extinguisher The best surface portal location placement for the GAG for most efficient suppression of a fire and the situation with significant seam gas being emitted on a dipping face have been examined. Operation of an inertisation unit requires preplanning in terms of infrastructure requirements for a surface portal docking station and access for operating personnel, jet fuel, water and other operating requirements.

The aims of the project have been achieved. The Polish fire simulation program VENTGRAPH program has been introduced to the Australian coal industry. Greater understanding of coal mine fire behaviour has been achieved. A sub-program has been written to allow mine network information used for Ventsim to be transferred in a reasonably convenient step to allow input to VENTGRAPH. The industry has been very supportive and case studies of scenario development have been undertaken at four Queensland mines. Application of the program to the industry is an on-going process and other mines in Queensland and NSW are also having fire scenarios developed for their circumstances.

Mine fires are recognized across the world as a major hazard issue. New approaches allowing improvement in understanding their consequences have been developed.

Underground

Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C34019Longwall Bretby Cable Handling Monitoring With Fibre Optics

This project examined the potential of using fibre optic sensing tec...

C28028The Inclusion Of High Interest Native Plants In Mine Site Restoration Programs: Propagation, Translocation And Field Re-Introduction

This report synthesises over 10 years of ex situ and in si...

C27049Mine Machine Radar Sensor Integration

The aim of this project was to develop an integrated radar sensor an...

Underground

Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C34028Guidelines For Assessment Of Geotechnically Safe And Stable Post-Mining Landforms

The purpose of this project was to develop a guidelines document as ...

C29047Reducing Uncertainty In Long Term Void Water Quality Predictions For Final Void Management

The aim of this project was to generate new data and undertake predi...

C29048Image Based Automated Characterisation Of Waste Materials

Accurate geotechnical characterisation of mine spoils is critical to...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C26016Determining The Benefits Of Online Thickener Underflow Rheology Measurements

The aim of this project is to determine how useful the rheology meas...

C33056Modelling And Control Of Classifying Cyclones

Hydrocyclones are one of the key technologies for the classification...

C28056Surface Alloying Of Centrifuge Baskets And Sieve Bends Screen Surfaces To Increase The Service Lifetime

The main objective of this project was to improve the wear resistanc...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C33066Washability And Distribution Of Sulfur And Trace Elements For Different Size And Density Fractions Of Raw Coals

Based on the hypothesis that the levels of sulfur and other toxic tr...

C34060In-Situ Investigation Of Coke Structure Formation Under Stamp Charged Coking Conditions

Stamp charged cokemaking has emerged as an effective technique to im...

C34062Improving The Classification Of Microstructure Distribution In Coke CT Images Using Deep Learning And Lineal Path Calculations

This project builds on a number of earlier projects that have helped...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL)

This third and final stage of this project was the culmination of a ...

C29069Low-Cost Catalyst Materials For Effective VAM Catalytic Oxidation

Application of ventilation air methane (VAM) thermal oxidiser requir...

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community

NERDDC

National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook

NERDDC