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CAER Seminars

Emission of Toxic, Explosive and Hazardous Gases in Coal Piles Stored Under Atmospheric Conditions

Prof. Haim Cohen
R. Bloch Coal Research Center
Chemistry Department
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Wednesday, October 16, 1996, 3:30 p.m.
Ben Bandy Conference Room
Center for Applied Energy Research

From the moment that bituminous coal is mined and exposed to air it undergoes ambient temperature atmospheric oxidation. The oxidation process consists of physical adsorption and chemisorption followed by formation of surface oxides. Only small amounts of carbon dioxide and water are produced. These processes are exothermic and if the heat dissipation from the coal is not efficient and auto catalytic process might occur which in extreme cases may result in fire eruptions.

Emission of toxic and fire hazardous gases which accompanies the low temperature oxidation (e.g. carbon monoxide, C1-4 hydrocarbons and molecular hydrogen) has been observed. In confined spaces (silos, bunkers, ship holds, deep mines, etc.) this might result in deterioration of air quality and increase the risk for occurrence of explosions. The mechanism of these emissions as well as their immediate effect on air quality and explosion risks in confined space storage of coal (ship holds, deep mines and silos) is discussed.