There are two major engineering problems in underground coal mines:
Firstly the methane gas that sometimes accompanies coal could catch fire and explode. Mine ventilation systems provide fresh air to miners but simultaneously supply oxygen that creates an explosive mixture with methane. Coal dust in air provides an explosion hazard as well.
The other problem is the incidence of mine fires that can burn in abandoned mines for decades. According to DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) currently, in Pennsylvania alone about 1,300 acres are on fire underground.
These fires are tricky because they travel through tunnels that were carved in coal many years ago. They are persistent but unpredictable, and difficult and expensive to extinguish. In addition to the danger posed to mines, fire can spread into people’s homes and woods. The mine can collapse when the blaze consumes the thick coal pillars left which help support the underground tunnels. Carbon monoxide gas and other toxic fumes can rise from the ground and seep into buildings, potentially asphyxiating occupants or causing long-term respiratory problems. It costs millions of dollars to excavate many acres of land and extinguish part of the fire with foam pumped in the burning cavities or to install an underground clay barrier between the remaining fire and the endangered houses.
Both these problems could be solved, or significantly alleviated by FirePASS® The FirePASS hypoxic agent could be delivered to the exploration zone for continues ventilation, instead of ambient air. This would completely eliminate the fire hazard, while providing miners with fresh air. Moreover, the hypoxic (oxygen-reduced) air in deep mines will provide to miners the same oxygen amount for breathing as ambient air at sea level, since partial pressure of oxygen will increase with depth.
FirePASS FPM systems can take over the ventilation of your mine and continuously supply fresh hypoxic air where needed, completely eliminating the possibility of a fire or explosion.
In order to combat fire in an abandoned mine, FirePASS Corporation has developed an effective technological solution which if applied would save huge territories currently uninhabitable due to underground fires.
Additionally, we can build Mobile FirePASS systems that can be quickly delivered for deployment in fire combat and rescue.