Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Humphreys, D, The nature of underground heating as indicated by numerical modeling, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 1998: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1998, 604-616.


A numerical model of the spontaneous combustion of coal has been developed and is being used to investigate the nature of selfheating in underground coal mines. Results to date confIrm the complexity of the self-heating reaction in coal and illustrate the impact of the factors such as the coal reactivity , mass and airflow through the coal pile. Subtle differences in the chemical, physical and environmental conditions and make a significant difference in the development of a high temperature self-heating or a low temperature benign condition, the subtlety escaping normal underground observations. Additional work is planned to investigate the thresholds for such factors in the development of spontaneous combustion and it the implications for detection by gaseous products.