Laboratory Investigation to Assess Spontaneous Combustion/Fire During Extraction of Thick Coal Seam

  • Niroj K. MohalikEmail author
  • Debashish Mishra
  • Santosh K. Ray
  • Nikhil K. Varma
  • Asfar M. Khan
  • Nageshwar Sahay
Original Contribution


Spontaneous combustion/fire and explosions occurring in the goaf area due to depillaring of thick coal seam (5–8 m) experiences significant loss to the mining industry. This ultimately causes destruction of natural resources and fatal accidents in India. Thus, it is threatening the safety of underground coal mines. This paper includes various laboratory studies to determine the cause of spontaneous combustion/fire during depillaring of panels in thick coal seams. The laboratory investigation comprises of proximate analysis, critical oxidation temperature study, differential scanning calorimetric analysis, fire ladder study, and goaf ignition temperature. The field investigation comprises of hygrometric survey to determine moisture loss and ventilation survey of the working seam to reveal that the goaf of the working panel is highly prone to spontaneous combustion/fire. The results of the above studies will help to develop suitable technique, i.e., partial stowing in goaf areas with the application of water mist spraying to prevent spontaneous combustion/fire during depillaring of thick coal seam. The above studies were carried out during depillaring panels (B2A and B2B) of a thick seam (5.4 m) at Khottadih Colliery, M/s Eastern Coalfields Limited of Raniganj coalfield of India.


Spontaneous combustion Thick coal seam Critical oxidation temperature Differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) study Fire ladder 



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Copyright information

© The Institution of Engineers (India) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CSIR-CIMFR)DhanbadIndia

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