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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 723764, 9 pages
Research Article

Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation of Oxygen Seepage in Coal Mine Goaf with Gas Drainage

1School of Safety Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
2Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA

Received 7 August 2014; Revised 17 October 2014; Accepted 27 October 2014

Academic Editor: Shaofan Li

Copyright © 2015 Guo-Qing Shi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mine fires mainly arise from spontaneous combustion of coal seams and are a global issue that has attracted increasing public attention. Particularly in china, the closure of coal workfaces because of spontaneous combustion has contributed to substantial economic loss. To reduce the occurrence of mine fires, the spontaneous coal combustion underground needs to be studied. In this paper, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed for coal spontaneous combustion under goaf gas drainage conditions. The CFD model was used to simulate the distribution of oxygen in the goaf at the workface in a fully mechanized cave mine. The goaf was treated as an anisotropic medium, and the effects of methane drainage and oxygen consumption on spontaneous combustion were considered. The simulation results matched observational data from a field study, which indicates CFD simulation is suitable for research on the distribution of oxygen in coalmines. The results also indicated that near the workface spontaneous combustion was more likely to take place in the upper part of the goaf than near the bottom, while further from workface the risk of spontaneous combustion was greater in the lower part of the goaf. These results can be used to develop firefighting approaches for coalmines.