Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering


Spontaneous combustion of coal is a hazard that is likely to occur during coal mining, storage, transport, and utilisation under favourable circumstances. Due to a variety of geological and operational reasons, spontaneous combustion has occurred and become a major threat to mining operations and coal reserve recovery in Shendong coal mines. With the support of Shenhua Mining Group, a collaborative research project with China Coal Research Institute Shenyang was initiated in 2013 to gain a better understanding of the causes of the hazard and eventually develop new cost-effective technologies for the control of the hazard in these mines. Relevant literature review was conducted to understand the mechanism of self-heating and low temperature oxidation of coal. A review of the experimental methods for coal oxidation testing was also accomplished. Current spontaneous combustion detection techniques and control practices in underground coal mines were briefly examined. Spontaneous combustion in Shendong coal mines has its own features and therefore a critical investigation was conducted. Key features of mining in Shendong coalfield were identified and associated spontaneous combustion problems were then critically investigated.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.