What is Mining and Mine Gas?

Mining refers to the extraction of valuable minerals and other geological materials from Earth. The process of mining coal is called coal mining. Coal has been used to produce electricity since the 1880s. Steel and cement industries, for example, use coal to extract iron and produce cement. In recent years, coal mining has experienced many changes, starting with men digging tunnels and digging and then manually extracting the coal from carts. To today’s large open-cut and long-wall mines, there have been many improvements in coal mining. Modern mining requires trucks, draglines, conveyors, hydraulic-jacks, shearers, and trucks to reach this scale.

Underground mining requires workers to work in tight spaces. Methane (CH4), which is found in mine gases and is released during coal extraction, can make this dangerous.

Mine Gas is a natural product that results from the geochemical transformation of organic substances into Coal (during Carbonisation). Mine gas consists of Oxygen and Nitrogen as well as Carbon Dioxide, Methane, and Carbon Dioxide. Carbon Monoxide (CO), which can be produced in large amounts by blasting operations, is a component of mine gas. Hydrogen Sulphide may also be present. You can find mine gas in both liberated gas (in fissures) and absorbed gas under the coal’s inner surface. Mine gas can be released during mining operations. This is dangerous because of its flammability. It can ignite and cause an explosion if it is mixed with the air.

What are the uses of gas sensors in mining?

Because methane is a dangerous gas, the mine industry uses gas sensing to reduce explosion risk.

The monitoring of methane levels in the stale mine air allows for the control of ventilation. Our sensors are not approved by ATEX for use in explosive atmospheres, but they can be used to monitor air containing methane levels below the lower explosive limit. You can integrate our OEM products into equipment that is approved for monitoring mine exhaust gas or similar applications.

  • This application note will provide more information about methane sensoring for coal mining with our gas sensors.

This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Communications! For over 15 years, Becker Communications has been the industry’s leader in Gas Monitoring Devices and electrical mining communication systems. As they expanded into surface mining, railroads, and tunneling they added wireless communication systems, handheld radios, tagging and tracking systems, as well as gas monitoring.

About Dwight V. Bartholomew

View all posts by Dwight V. Bartholomew →