Strata Mechanics & Nonconventional Gases
Strata Mechanics and Nonconventional Gases
HORG : RAJENDRA SINGH
 
This is a group of scientists working, manly, for safety and efficiency of underground coal mining. Two different sections of this group are: (a) Strata Mechanics and (b) Nonconventional Gases. There are total ten group (iv) scientists, two senior technical officers (1) and one senior technician (1) in the group. With a multi-disciplinary manpower, [dominated by Mining Engineers (4) followed by Geologists (3), Mathematicians (2), Chemical Engineer (1), Physicist (1) and Agriculturist (1)] this group has developed good knowledge and experiences of Indian coalfieldsto deal with the safety and efficiency problems of underground coal mining.
 

Strata Mechanics
Strata Mechanics :
This section is working to utilisethe basic rock mechanics principles to address theproblems of underground coal mining. Consistent involvement in different geo-technical investigations helped in developing good understanding of geology and rock mass characteristics for an efficient design of the underground mining structures.This sections has made significant R&D contributions in the thrust area (underground coal mining) of CSIR-CIMFRon the basis of following available skill and expertise:
1. Knowledge and understanding of geo-mining conditions of Indian coalfields for efficient design of underground mining structures.
2. Expertise to deal with strata-mechanics problems of underground mining of thick/difficult coal seams.
3. Skill and expertise for underground instrumentation/monitoring and analysis of stratacontrol parameters.
4. Simulation (physical and numerical) skill for strata mechanics investigations
5. Knowledge and experience to design geo-technical elements of continuous miner based mechanised depillaring of the existing rectangular/square pillars.
 
Mandate of the Section:
R&D for safe and efficient underground coal miningof a difficult coal seam, utilising basic principles of rock mechanics and ground control. Extensive laboratory testing including study on simulated models (both, physical and numerical) and field studies are basic tools of the sectionto study the response of rock-mass underthe redistributed state of stress conditions of an underground excavation for an efficient design of different mining structures.
 
Important Achievements of the Section:
Strata Mechanics section of CSIR-CIMFR has made significant contributions in development of the award winning mining methods like - cable bolting based depillaring of thick seams in single lift and wide stall mining. Our recently developed mining methods like: “Underpinning based simultaneous extraction of contiguous sections under fragile parting” and “Cross development based underground extraction of a critically thick coal seam standing on pillars and the development made along the roof horizon” have added new dimension in the field of optimal underground extraction of thick and contiguous coal seams of the country. Based on simple ideas and results of simulations, conventional superimposed bottom section development of a thick coal seam (already developed along roof horizon) was replaced by staggered one by this section for depillaring of complete thickness of a thick seam in single lift by Blasting Gallery (BG) method. Improved stiffness of natural support through staggered development of the bottom section arrested strata control problems, which were often encountered by the conventional superimposed development based BG method. Mechanisation and automationof underground coal mining falls under current research activitiesof the sectiont. Considering uniqueness of our site conditions, a model is developed for the rib designin mechanised depillaring of rectangular/square pillars. The section has made, at least, two successful efforts to replaceimported approach by an indigenous design. In fact, one of such effort of the sectionhas made national record of coal production from a depillaring panel. The section also made valuable contributions for automatic measurement of strata deformation,nature and amount of stress redistribution during underground coal mining, online monitoring and analysis of strata control parameters, coal mining of deep seated deposits andcuttability of Indian coal seams with special emphasis on coal seams with igneous intrusions.
Thissection of CSIR-CIMFR collaborated with the University College London and developed vision system for automatic spatial information extraction through active triangulation and monitoring of hazardous areas of underground mines. A joint research project under ASCR, Czech Republic - CSIR, India (2009-2014) is recently completed on “Rock mechanics investigations to meet challenges of strata control of deepunderground coal mining. Under this joint project,the potential of de-stress blasting is successfully demonstratedto mitigate coal bump/rock bursts problems and to manage hard and massive roof strata. Considering advantage of experiences of coal mining, available atCamborne School of Mines (CSM), UK, this section of CSIR-CIMFR established a goodco-operation with this institute to built-up scientific and technical knowledge for future coal mining problems in Indian coalfields.

Nonconventional Gases
Nonconventional Gases :
 
This section is working to harness energy from various non-conventional sources ensure such as coalbed methane, coal mine methane, ventilation air methane and underground coal gasification. The section undertakes investigations on safety in underground coal mines from gas hazard. Estimates of greenhouse gas emission from coal mining and handling activities and oil and natural gas systems are also prepared by the same group. This section has following expertise to serve coal mining and oil and natural gas industries:
 
1. Determination of degree of gassiness of coal seams.
 
2. Prediction of specific gas emission in mine workings to ensure safety in underground coal mines.
 
3. Determination of in-situ gas content of coal/shale/rock by “Direct Method” and evaluation of gas in place.
 
4. Treatment of produced water from wells of coalbed methane.
 
5. Quality analysis of mine air, coal and shale gases.
 
6. Construction of high pressure adsorption isotherm curves for determination of Langmuir constants (VLandPL).
 
7. Reservoir simulation and modeling of coalbed methane and shale gas wells for prediction of rate of water/gas flow and life of the well.
 
8. Quantification of ventilation air methane (VAM) for utilization as energy.
 
9. Characterization of coalbed methane and shale gas reservoirs.
 
10. Geochemical analysis of coal and shale such as proximate, ultimate, XRD, FTIR etc.
 
11. Determination of surface area, pore size and pore volume of coal/shale/rock through low pressure Nitrogen sorption method.
 
12. Petrographic, mineralogical and reflectance studies of coal/shale/rock.
 
13. Baseline study of carbon foot print of coal mines.
 
14. Underground coal gasification (UCG).
 
15. CO2 sequestration in geological formation.
 
 
Mandate of the Section:
 
Investigation on methane emission for categorisation of degree of gassiness of coal seamshaving belowground workings, Prediction of specific gas emission inbelowground mine workings, fugitive emission to the atmosphere from coal mining and handling activities and oil and natural gas systems, evaluation of coalbed methane and shale gas resources in virgin coal/lignite/shale blocks, construction of high pressure adsorption isotherm at reservoir temperature for determination of recoverable gas resource, surface area, pore size and pore volume, petrographic, mineralogical and reflectance studies, CBM reservoir simulation, coal mine methane, ventilation air methane geo-sequestration of CO2, baseline study on carbon foot print of coal mines, underground coal gasification.
 
Important Achievements of the Section:
 
Investigationon methane emission from coal seams for classification of degree of gassiness has been carried out for more than 100 underground coal mines in India.A mathematical model has been developed for prediction of specific emission from seambeing worked and enclosing strata into mine workings. The model is being extensively used for prediction of methane emission in prospecting mines.
Methodology and national emission factors have been developed for estimation of fugitive methane emission from coal mining and handling activities. Prepared estimates of fugitive methane emission from coal, oil and natural gas systems for India’s Initial and Second National Communications and Biennial Update Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
A set up has been developed by this group for determination of in-situ gas content of coal/lignite/shale core samples by the “DirectMethod”. It is comprised of desorption apparatus, desorption canister and grinding apparatus. A format to record borehole/well location, variousparameters related to core drilling and recovery and gas desorption volume with time elapsed, canister temperature and ambient pressure and temperaturehas been prepared. An excel spread-sheet has been developed for computation of desorbed gas volume at NTP or STP, desorption curves and sorption time. Facilities for determination of high pressure adsorption isotherm of coal/shale at reservoir temperature, quality analysis of coal and shale gases, chemical and petrological properties of coal/shale coresamples have been developed through external funding such as UNDP, DST, US EPA and CIL. This section has investigated more than 250 boreholes and about 20 CBM wells. On the basis of CIMFR study, 33 CBM blocks have been awarded to gas producing companies in four rounds by Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH), New Delhi. Technical inputs for commercial development of CBM projects have been given to almost all CBM producing companies such as ONGC, GEECL and Essar Oil Limited. At present this section has twoongoing S&T projects sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Coal, and one network project on Underground Coal Gasification.

NameDesignationEmail & phonePhoto
Head of the Research Group
Dr. Rajendra Singh

Briefbiodata
Head of Section & Chief Scientist E-mail : rajendra@cimfr.res.in, rsingh1_2@ yahoo.com
Phone : +91-326-2296043 (O), 09334245661(M)
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Section 1: Strata Mechanics
Dr. Arun Kumar Singh Principal Scientist E-mail : aksingh72@ yahoo.com
Phone : +91-0326 2296043 (O), 0326 2225060 / Extn. 4333(O)
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Mr. Rakesh Kumar

Briefbiodata
Principal Scientist Phone : +91-0326 2296043 / Extn. 4328 (O) Service image
Mr. Ashok kumar

Briefbiodata
Scientist E-mail : ashok.bhu.min09@gmail.com
Phone : +91-0326 2296043 / Extn. 4235 (O)
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Mr. Sahendra Ram

Briefbiodata
Senior Technical Officer E-mail : sahendra18@gmail.com
Phone : +91-0326 2296043 (O), 0326 2396258 / Extn. 4235
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Mr. Amit Kumar Singh

Briefbiodata
Senior Technical Officer E-mail : amitcmri@ yahoo.co.in
Phone : +91-326 2296043 / Extn. 4328
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Section 2: Nonconventional Gases
Dr. Harendra Singh

Briefbiodata
Sr. Principal Scientist E-mail : hsingh@cimfr.res.in, hsingh86@ yahoo.com
Phone : +91-0326 -2296027/28/29 (O)
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Dr. V.A.Mendhe

Briefbiodata
Principal Scientist E-mail : avmendhe@ yahoo.com
Phone : +91-0326 -2296027/28/29/4352 (O)
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Dr. A. K. Singh

Briefbiodata
Sr. Scientist E-mail : ajay.cimfr@gmail.com, ajayabha@ yahoo.com / ajay@cimfr.res.in
Phone : +91-0326 2296007 / Extn. 4265 (O)
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Mr. J. Kispotaa Sr. Scientist E-mail : jk_cimfr@rediffmail.com
Phone : +91-326 -2296027/28/29 / Extn. 4416 (O)
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Dr. D. Mohanty

Briefbiodata
Sr. Scientist E-mail : drdmohanty@cimfr.res.in
Phone : +91-0326 -2296027/28/29 / Extn. 4343 (O)
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Mr. Jaywardhan Kumar

Briefbiodata
Scientist E-mail : kumar.jaiwardhan@gmail.com
Phone : +91-326 2296007 / Extn. 4346 (O)
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Mr. KK. Singh Senior Technical E-mail : singh.kk1315@ gmail.com
Phone : +91-326 -2296027/28/29 / Extn. 4317
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13 Results
Sl. No.A brief description of Facilities/ Equipment/Tools/software with photos
Section 1: Strata Mechanics
1

A List of Important Facilities and Infrastructure:
 

 1.   Facilities for numerical and physical simulations,

 2.  Bore-hole penetratometer (40 m length)

 3.  Data logger based instrumentation facility for strata movement study

 4.  Automatic total station (Leica)

Strata Movement Studies In Laboratory on Physical Models

Field and laboratory studies for the design of mining structures during CM based mechanised depillaring

Nature and amount of strata movement of laminated and massive roof strata and corresponding stress development over the natural support. 

Results of numerical simulation showing plan view of stress concentrations over a rib/snook (of three different sizes) after one and four rows of pillar extractions.

Appropriate strategy of staggered bottom section development (plan & section) for efficient underground extraction of total thickness of a thick coal seam in single lift by BG  method. 

Superiority of  cable bolting based thick seam mining (developed by CIMFR) over the BG method and a photo of cable-bolted gallery during the field trial . 

Underpinning based simultaneous extraction of thick and contiguous sections with thin and laminated parting.

Concept o f wide-stall mining and its comparison with conventional splitting/stooking for optimisation of the coal recovery below surface or sub-surface constraints 

 

Section 2: Nonconventional Gases
1
 
Sl. No.NameSponsorDurationObjectiveMajor output(if any)
Section 1: Strata Mechanics
1Scientific study for suggesting appropriate method of final extraction of No. 3 seam at Bartunga Hill Mine, Chirimiri Area, SECLSouth Eastern Coalfield Limited, SECLFrom 16.12.09 to 15.12.11

Study for suggesting appropriate method of final extraction of No. 3 seam at Bartunga Hill Mine, Chirimiri Area, SECL

On the basis of field and laboratory investigations (simulation), different possible method for final extraction of No. 3 seam is compared and finally an appropriate method of mining for the seam extraction is suggested. 

2Advice for installation of extensometer, its monitoring and analysis of the observed data over the caving panel at KTK1 Incline mine, BHPL area, SCCL.Singareni Collieries Company Limited, SCCLFrom 09.06.11 to 08.06.11

Advice for installation of extensometer, its monitoring and analysis of the observed data over the caving panel at KTK1 Incline mine, BHPL Area, SCCL.

As per the existing site conditions, an extensometer is designed for monitoring and analysis process of bed separation in the roof horizon during depillaring of seam.

3Performance evaluation of cable bolting based depillaring method for underground extraction of panel LK-1(A) of Lower Kajora seam through underground instrumentation and monitoring at Central Kajora Colliery, ECL.Eastern Coalfield Limited, ECLFrom 05.07.12 to 04.07.14

Performance evaluation of cable bolting based depillaring method for underground extraction of panel LK-1(A) of Lower Kajora seam through underground instrumentation and monitoring at Central Kajora Colliery, ECL

Manner of extraction, support density, safe withdrawal limit value of stress, convergence and load is suggested for better production, productivity and safety of the mine.

4Performance evaluation of Limited Span method for underground partial extraction of 50LN panel of Patpahari seam through underground instrumentation and monitoring at Bhatgaon Colliery, SECLSouth Eastern Coalfield Limited, SECLFrom 08.02.13 to 07.02.2016

Performance evaluation of Limited Span method for underground partial extraction of 50LN panel of Patpahari seam through underground instrumentation and monitoring at Bhatgaon Colliery, SECL

Manner of extraction, support density, safe withdrawal limit value of stress, convergence and load is suggested for better production, productivity and safety of the mine.

5Design of suitable method of depillaring including widening and heightening of existing galleries for working of panels B5 and B6 of No. 1 seam at GDK-11 Incline mine, RG-I Area, SCCL along with underground instrumentation and monitoring during extraction of the panel.CATTERPILLAR GLOBAL MINING EUROPE GmbH-IPO (Earlier known as Bucyrus Europe GmbH-IPO)From 22.02.13 to 21.02.2015

Design of suitable method of depillaring  including widening and heightening of existing galleries for working of panels B5 and B6 of No. 1 seam at GDK-11 Incline mine, RG-I Area, SCCL along with underground instrumentation and monitoring during extraction of the panel.

On the basis of field and laboratory investigations (simulation), design of different basic elements of the mechanised depillaring like rib/snook, roof bolt based breaker-line etc. for the Continuous Miner based depillaring is done for better production, productivity and safety of the mine.

6Advice on precise measurement, 3D modelling of coal heaps and coal volume computation at Bhubaneswari OCP, MCL.Mahanadi Coalfield Limited, MCLFrom 15.03.13 to 14.03.15

Advice on precise measurement, 3D modelling of coal heaps and coal volume computation at Bhubaneswari OCP, MCL

Precise measurement, 3D modelling of coal heaps and coal volume computation at open cast mines is done by surveying and using a software.

7Performance evaluation of cable bolting based depillaring method for underground extraction of panel K-6(A) of Kajora top seam through underground instrumentation and monitoring at Madhusudanpur 7 Pit and Incline Colliery, ECLEastern Coalfield Limited, ECLFrom 18.03.13 to 17.03.15

Performance evaluation of cable bolting based depillaring method for underground extraction of panel K-6(A) of Kajora top seam through underground instrumentation and monitoring at Madhusudanpur 7 Pit and Incline Colliery, ECL

Manner of extraction, support density, safe withdrawal limit value of stress, convergence and load is suggested for better production, productivity and safety of the mine on the basis of field and laboratory investigations.

8Performance evaluation of cable bolting based depillaring method for underground extraction of panel LK-2 of Lower Kajora seam through underground instrumentation and monitoring at Central Kajora Colliery, ECL.Eastern Coalfield Limited, ECLFrom 03.05.13 to 02.05.16

Performance evaluation of cable bolting based depillaring method for underground extraction of panel LK-2 of Lower Kajora seam through underground instrumentation and monitoring at Central Kajora Colliery, ECL.

Manner of extraction, support density, safe withdrawal limit value of stress, convergence and load is suggested for better production, productivity and safety of the mine on the basis of field and laboratory investigations..

9Advice on precise measurement, 3D modelling of coal heaps and coal volume computation at open cast mines of MCL.Mahanadi Coalfield Limited, MCLFrom 16.06.13 to 15.06.15

Advice on precise measurement, 3D modelling of coal heaps and coal volume computation at open cast mines of MCL.

Precise measurement, 3D modelling of coal heaps and coal volume computation at open cast mines is done by surveying and using a software

10Strata control studies based advice for safe depillaring in Continuous Miner panel CM1of L1B seam at Pinoura Mine, SECL.SMS Infrastructure LimitedFrom 24.06.13 to 23.06.16

Strata control studies based advice for safe depillaring in Continuous Miner panel CM1of L1B seam at Pinoura Mine, SECL.

On the basis of field and laboratory investigations (simulation), design of different basic elements of the mechanised depillaring like rib/snook, roof bolt based breaker-line etc. for the Continuous Miner based depillaring is done for better production, productivity and safety of the mine.

10 Results