A Fundamental Study of High-Speed Methane-Air Deflagrations Across Simulated Gob Walls and Sphere Beds

  • Claire Strebinger
  • Gregory BoginEmail author
  • Jürgen Brune
Conference paper


Detailed knowledge of flame propagation and pressure generation from methane-air deflagrations with and without obstacles is necessary to understand and help mitigate methane gas explosions in longwall coal mines. Experiments were performed in a quartz flow reactor investigating the effects of confinement, void spacing, and gob geometry on methane flame dynamics using a simulated gob of glass spheres. Results show ignition from a confined space increased flame propagation velocity over 5000% and peak pressure 1300%. A 3.8 cm high simulated gob wall (73% void space) further enhanced flame speed 14% and peak pressure approximately 50%. Decreasing void spacing of a sphere bed from 96 to 89% increased flame speeds 2–4% and pressures 15–35%. Results demonstrate that mine layout and gob characteristics can have a significant impact on the propagation and severity of a methane gas explosion. Experiments from this study will aid in providing a comprehensive understanding of the factors contributing to methane explosion enhancement in longwall coal mines.


Methane combustion Longwall coal mining Flame propagation Overpressure 



This research is made possible with the support from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Contract # 211-2014-60050.


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Copyright information

© Science Press and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Strebinger
    • 1
  • Gregory Bogin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jürgen Brune
    • 1
  1. 1.Colorado School of MinesGoldenUSA

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