Physics of Coal and Mining Processes: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Physics of Coal and Mining Processes

1st Edition

By Anatoly D. Alexeev

CRC Press

383 pages | 183 B/W Illus.

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Around the world, on average, four coal miners die for each million tons of coal recovered. Improving the safety of mining work while responding to the need for increased coal production, however, is impossible without further development of the physics of mining processes. A relatively new branch of science, it tackles problems that arise during mineral products recovery, particularly safety issues such as rock failures, coal and gas outbursts, and methane explosions.

The first book to present a unifying methodology for addressing problems such as outbursts and explosions of methane in coal mining, Physics of Coal and Mining Processes integrates theoretical and experimental research on coal and bearing rocks and examines the anthropogenic processes that occur during deep underground mining.

The book summarizes the results of recent and established research, including studies conducted at the Institute of Physics of Mining Processes of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, headed by the author. Key topics covered include rock mass in multi-component compressive stress fields and phase conditions of methane in coal. The book also examines state-of-the-art instrumentation and physical methods of analysis, among them x-ray analysis of coal structures combined with computer simulation and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy combined with gas chromatography.

Bridging the gap between the academic theory and the practice of coal mining, the book proposes novel methods to predict rock mass condition, control gas-dynamic phenomena, and estimate safe mining loads. A useful reference for scientists, technicians, and engineers working in the coal industry, it also offers an overview of the physics of mining processes for students pursuing careers in the field.

Table of Contents

Coal Structure

Genesis of Coal Substance

Elemental Compositions of Coals

Structure of Organic Mass

X-Ray Studies

Literature Review

Structural Peculiarities of Coal–Methane System

New Approach to Analyzing Coal via Scattering X-Ray Investigation



General Characteristics

Neutron Scattering


Closed Porosity of Donbass Coals



Equilibrium Phase States and Mass Transfer in Coal-Methane Systems

Equilibrium and Dynamics of Mass Exchange between Sorbed and Free Methane

Gaseous State of Methane in System of Opened and Closed Pores

Solid Solution of Methane in Coal: Absorption and Adsorption

Diffusion of Methane from Coal Lumps into Filtration Volume: Efficient Diffusion Coefficient

Joint Flow of Filtration and Diffusion Processes in Coal Massifs

Double-Time Models of Mass Transfer: Fast and Slow Methane

Methane Escaping from Coal into Closed Volume: Role of Backpressure

Methane Flow from Coal Seam into Worked-Out Space

Methane Accumulation in Dangerous Coal Lump Regions

Time for Formation of Highly Explosive Methane–Air Mixture

Thermodynamic Gibbs Potential for Gas–Coal Massif: Prognosis for Localization of Coal Burst Sections of Seam

Investigation of Phase State and Desorption Mechanisms of Methane in Coal

Methane Phase States in Coal

Kinetics and Mechanisms of Methane Desorption from Coal

Transformation of Methane Desorption Mechanism: Three Stages of Desorption



Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Studies of Coal and Rocks

Experimental Techniques

High Resolution Spectrometers

Wide Line Spectrometers

High Pressure Technique

Coal Structure Research

Determining Structural Components of Coals through 1H NMR Data

Application of 13C NMR for Analyzing Coal Structures

Research of Donets Basin Coals

Phase States of Water and Methane in Coal

Water–Coal Adsorption

Adsorption by Impulse NMR

Water in Rocks

Methane in Coal

Phase State of Binding in Rocks

Polymer Compositions in Coals

Bindings in Rocks



Behaviors of Rocks and Coals in Volumetric Fields of Compressive Stresses

Experimental Technique

Literature Review

True Triaxial Compression Unit

Strength Properties of Rocks Treated by Different Binders

Experimental Methods and Estimates of Strengthening

Width of Fissure Openings

Moisture of Rocks under Strengthening

Temperature of Surroundings


Influence of Loading Method and Loading History on Volumetric Strength

Loading Method

Loading History


Coal Destruction

Mechanism of Coal Destruction

Filtration Properties

Changes of Fissured and Porous Structures

Limit State

Post-Limit State

Essence of Problem

Post-Limit Deformation under True Triaxial Compression



Genesis of Natural Gases, Methane Extraction, and Coal Mining Safety

Genesis of Gases in Coal-Bearing Series

Methane Isotopic Analysis: Literature Review

Methane Isotopic Analysis: Experiment and Discussion

Mossbauer Spectroscopy

Stoichiometry of Reaction


Dependence of Outburst Proneness on Mineral Inclusions

Experiments and Discussion


Electromagnetic Method of Seam Degassing

Electric Dipole

Magnetic Dipole


Physics of Fissured Porous Coal Structure Transformation under Influence of Unloading Wave

Influence of Gas Content on Stability of Coal–Gas System

Modeling of Porous Medium

Movement of Wave of Unloading

Transformation of Pores into Fissures

Classification of Gas-Dynamic Phenomenon Type

Criteria of GDP

Parameters and Technology of Method

Predicting Coal Seam and Sandstone Outburst Danger

Outburst Dangers of Coal Seams

Rock and Gas Outbursts

Safe Extraction of Coal

Outburst Control Measures

Safe Load on Working Face


About the Author

Anatoly Dmitriyevich Alexeev is the leading earth scientist in Ukraine. Dr. Alexeev has combined a career in physics, chemistry, and engineering with teaching, research, and writing more than 300 publications, 14 monographs, and 50 patents. He developed the theory of gas absorption and emission in porous media and an applied approach to extreme states or rocks and rock massifs.

Dr. Alexeev’s areas of interest in basic and applied research include the physics of rocks and mining processes, radiophysics, extreme states of solids, and physic-chemical mechanics. He studied the effects of surfagents on stress states of rocks and implemented surfagents to prevent outbursts in coal mines. He also applied nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to studies of methane–coal systems and developed new methods and technologies for predicting mine outbursts.

Dr. Alexeev is a corresponding member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, a member of the Academy of Mining Sciences of Ukraine, and the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. In recognition of his accomplishments, Dr. Alexeev was awarded the State Prize of Ukraine (1996), the A.A. Skotchinsky prize (1990), and the I. Puluy prize (2001). He was designated an Honored Miner of Ukraine (1996) and received several President’s medals in all three classes for "Valiant Labour," "Miner’s Glory," and "Miner’s Valour."

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Geophysics
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Chemical & Biochemical
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Power Resources / Fossil Fuels