Natural Hazards

, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 1833–1852 | Cite as

Controlling coal fires using the three-phase foam and water mist techniques in the Anjialing Open Pit Mine, China

  • Zhenlu Shao
  • Deming WangEmail author
  • Yanming Wang
  • Xiaoxing Zhong
  • Xiaofei Tang
  • Xiangming Hu
Original Paper


Coal fires are a serious environment, health, and safety hazard throughout the world. They damage the environment, threaten the health of people living nearby, burn away non-renewable coal, and result in significant economic losses. In this paper, the characteristics of the ignition and propagation of coal fires are illustrated first. Semi-enclosed environments (loose zones and abandoned roadways) favor the ignition of coal fires. The “upper fire” is pointed out to be prevalent and difficult to be controlled. Furthermore, the advantages and disadvantages of several commonly used techniques for controlling coal fires are analyzed. The three-phase foam and water mist techniques are believed to be effective in controlling coal fires, especially the “upper fires” in loose zones and abandoned roadways, respectively. Then, the three-phase foam coal fire extinguishing system is improved, and the water mist coal fire extinguishing system is developed. Finally, these two techniques are applied to control coal fires in the Anjialing Open Pit Mine. The results show that the three-phase foam and water mist techniques control coal fires efficiently and ensure the safe production of the mine as well as the security of personnel and equipments. Most importantly, this study provides a valuable method for the control of other coal fires.


Coal fires Hazard Environment Fire control Three-phase foam Water mist 



The project was sponsored by The Joint Funds of the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Shenhua Group Corporation Limited (No. 51134020), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51106175), and the Research and Innovation Program for College Graduates of Jiangsu Province (No. KYLX_1412).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhenlu Shao
    • 1
  • Deming Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yanming Wang
    • 1
  • Xiaoxing Zhong
    • 1
  • Xiaofei Tang
    • 1
  • Xiangming Hu
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Safety EngineeringChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Gas and Fire Control for Coal Mines of Ministry of EducationChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of City and Environmental ScienceBinzhou UniversityBinzhouChina

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