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A review on the mechanism, risk evaluation, and prevention of coal spontaneous combustion in China

Kong, Biao, Li, Zenghua, Yang, Yongliang, Liu, Zhen, Yan, Daocheng
Environmental science and pollution research international 2017 v.24 no.30 pp. 23453-23470
coal, combustion, disasters, ecology, financial economics, fire hazard, fire prevention, fires, gases, geophysics, heat production, oxygen, prediction, risk, risk assessment, sustainable development, toxicity, underground mining, working conditions, China
In recent years, the ecology, security, and sustainable development of modern mines have become the theme of coal mine development worldwide. However, spontaneous combustion of coal under conditions of oxygen supply and automatic exothermic heating during coal mining lead to coalfield fires. Coal spontaneous combustion (CSC) causes huge economic losses and casualties, with the toxic and harmful gases produced during coal combustion not only polluting the working environment, but also causing great damage to the ecological environment. China is the world’s largest coal producer and consumer; however, coal production in Chinese mines is seriously threatened by the CSC risk. Because deep underground mining methods are commonly adopted in Chinese coal mines, coupling disasters are frequent in these mines with the coalfield fires becoming increasingly serious. Therefore, in this study, we analyzed the development mechanism of CSC. The CSC risk assessment was performed from the aspects of prediction, detection, and determination of the “dangerous area” in a coal mine (i.e., the area most susceptible to fire hazards). A new geophysical method for CSC determination is proposed and analyzed. Furthermore, the main methods for CSC fire prevention and control and their advantages and disadvantages are analyzed. To eventually construct CSC prevention and control integration system, future developmental direction of CSC was given from five aspects. Our results can present a reference for the development of CSC fire prevention and control technology and promote the protection of ecological environment in China.