Colorado School of Mines receives $US1.14 million funding for two testing facilities

Longwall mine

Colorado School of Mines has received funding to develop two new testing facilities that will help prevent methane gas explosions in coal mines.

Firstly, a 1/40th-scale version of a longwall coal mine will be designed to investigate ventilation and fire hazard mitigation strategies.

The project was awarded $US460,000 ($624,700) in funding over three years by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC-NIOSH).

Additionally, a grant totalling $US683,000 has also been awarded for the development of a world-class explosion test facility over the duration of three years.

The fund was awarded by Alpha Foundation, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to improving mine safety and health.

The new Mines Gas Explosion Test Facility (GETF) will be capable of investigating the essential characteristics of turbulent high-speed deflagrations and transition to detonations, relating to explosions in longwall coal mines.

Both projects are related to a current five-year, $US1.2 million CDC-NIOSH grant that supports the development of combustion modelling and spontaneous combustion prevention in longwall gobs.

The projects are led by associate professor of mechanical engineering Greogry Bogin Jr. and co-principal investigator Jurgen Brune.

Over the last five years, they have received a total contribution of more than $US3.5 million for the projects, including the two new awards.