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
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.