Advanced Tools for Ventilation and Methane Emissions Control

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AVENTO
EUROPEAN COMMISSION	
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

Directorate G – Industrial Technologies
G.5 - Research Fund for Coal and Steel

Private Area

A project on ventilation and gas emissions management in coal mines funded by the Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS).

The AVENTO project

Ventilation in Coal mines has two main goals: i) Diluting firedamp to non dangerous levels, and evacuating it from the working faces and ii) providing a working environment as comfortable as possible -climate control-, providing fresh air and evacuating both humidity and the heat generated both naturally and by machinery.

 

Ventilation is also a powerful tool in the management of emergency (fires, explosions, collapses) and post-emergency (after fires or explosions, collapses) situations.

 

However, maintaining high air flows is expensive in both energetic (CO2 footprint) and economic terms, especially when mines go deeper and deeper, as happens in Europe. It is considered that introducing new ventilation control concepts will have a very positively impact on the safety of workers, while reducing substantially the operational cost of ventilation.

 

Consequently, the project has four basic aims:

 

i) To develop new concepts on environmental (methane and ventilation monitoring systems), taking into account the new risks appearing in the current and future production fields, in order to improve the safety and climatic conditions at the working areas.

 

ii) To use these new concepts for promoting a transition from a Prescriptive ventilation implementation / management model (fixed air flows have to be maintained) to a Performance- based one (VOD or Ventilation on Demand, supply the air when and in the amount actually needed).

 

iii) To use these new concepts as an important aid to manage emergency / post-emergency situations: fires, fire-fighting, collapses, gas outburst and explosions, etc.

 

iv) To reduce the costs involved in ventilation, analysing different aspects such as the dynamic regulation of air flow (the aforesaid "Ventilation on Demand", and new systems of main fans control for better efficiency and reliability.