Natural Hazards

, Volume 75, Issue 3, pp 2683–2697 | Cite as

Identification and control of spontaneous combustion of coal pillars: a case study in the Qianyingzi Mine, China

  • Yi Lu
  • Botao Qin
Original Paper


Spontaneous combustion of coal is a natural hazard during mining. In China, more than 60 % of cases of spontaneous combustion of coal in China result from coal pillars in goafs. In this paper, the plastic deformation of a coal pillar was simulated and, based on the simulated vertical and horizontal displacement, the distribution of surface porosity was deduced. Mathematical models of oxygen consumption together with air diffusion and leakage were incorporated as user-defined functions in a FLUENT simulation to obtain the air flow and oxygen consumption during a 6-month interruption of mining in the Qianyingzi Mine, China. The simulated oxygen concentration was used as an indicator to identify areas of potential spontaneous coal combustion. The application of a foam slurry to the identified potential coal combustion areas proved to be an effective measure to prevent spontaneous coal combustion as carbon monoxide concentration remained at 20 ppm in the air return flow and at 10 ppm in the gas drainage line.


Spontaneous coal combustion zone Coal pillar Porosity Oxygen consumption Foam slurry 



The authors are grateful to senior engineers Yin, Z. Y, Chen, D. C and Liao, Z. Q of Qianyingzi mine of Wanbei Coal and Electricity Group Co., Ltd. for their assistance with field experiment. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. U1361213), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(CUMT, 2013RC04) and the independent study projects of State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Mine Safety (SKLCRSM13X04), Jiangsu Province Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars (BK20140005) and College student innovation entrepreneurship Funded Project (CUMT, 201405).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Mine SafetyChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Safety EngineeringChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina

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