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Methane Drainage Techniques from 1845 Michael Farady


For those who wonder about how the industry has progressed in the last 200 years.
Attached are comments from a report from the scientist Michael Faraday in 1845.
He is remembered best as the Inventor of the Faraday cage
He was asked to investigate the Harwood Mining Disaster in England which killled 95 Men and Boys.
He suggested how to drain methane in 1845.
One of his comments. How is something Faraday finds easy to do in 1845 still be complicated today

Another mode of action has occurred to us, which, the more we think of it, seems the more practical.

“It is founded on the principle of drawing away the atmosphere of the goaf.

The first plan consists of laying a pipe from the goaf to the up-cast shaft, introducing the one extremity into the vault of the goaf at the uppermost edge and furnishing the other extremity with necessary means of drawing the air out of the pipe. Its place for the chief part would probably be in the return roadway as it could be best examined from time to time and would be safest from the effects of creep.

The goaf end of the pipe offers more difficulties, but we do not see at present that there are any that are not easily surmountable.

One other comment that I wish to draw special attention to.

Faraday and Davy knew more about methane explsoions and preventingbthem turning into more violent dust explosions in 1845, than the so called Experts and all the wonders of modern science

Both in the mines, and at the Inquest, our attention was called to the stoppings and the doors in the workings, upon which the curse of the ventilation depends.

At first, we were greatly embarrassed by the circumstances of the large number of deaths from chokedamp.

The blowing down of the stoppings by destroying the ventilation of the mine, caused all this choke-damp to be left for a time in the workings; and there is reason to believe from the circumstances, that the men met with a comparatively sudden death.

When these are blown away by an explosion, the ventilation is altered and at times such as this disaster, entirely withdrawn.

The Manager proposed to have dam doors so arranged that when the stoppings blown down, these could come into play.

We do not think that it would be impossible, or even very difficult to carry such a plan into effect in some of the permanent stoppings of the Mine, but, considering that if the stoppings were not blown down, the probable effects of an explosion would be the firing of the whole mine.

He also identified how a methane explosion turns into a coal dust explosion over 50 years before it was “discovered” as being explosive
Faraday was Sir Humphrey Davy’s assistant when in 1817 when Davy invented the Flame Safety Lamp in a matter of weeks
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