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01.01.2015 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 1/2015

Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering 1/2015

Effective Stress and Permeability Redistributions Induced by Successive Roadway and Borehole Excavations

Zeitschrift:
Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering > Ausgabe 1/2015
Autoren:
Shengyong Hu, Fubao Zhou, Yingke Liu, Tongqiang Xia

Abstract

Methane extraction from in-seam boreholes is the main approach for recovering methane in China. However, the methane concentration for this method is generally lower than 30 %, which incurs a risk of methane outbursts during pipeline transportation. To increase the methane concentration, we first conducted permeability experiments to investigate the relationships between the permeability and the effective stress at different stages in the complete effective stress–strain process. We then adopted FLAC3D software to calculate the stress distributions around roadways and boreholes after their consecutive excavations and thereby divided the coal mass around the roadway and borehole according to different effective stress stages to understand the gas flow characteristics. The results show that the coal mass along the radial direction of the roadway and borehole can be sequentially divided into four zones, including the full flow zone (FFZ), the transitive flow zone (TFZ), the flow-shielding zone (FSZ), and the in situ rock flow zone (IRFZ), which have been proven correct by field experiments. The methane in the IRFZ was difficult to extract because of the low permeability of coal mass in this zone. The permeability of the FSZ was lower than that of the IRFZ. The permeability along the interface between the FSZ and TFZ was nearly one time as low as that of the IRFZ, while the permeability of the FFZ was two orders of magnitude higher than that of the IRFZ. This four-zone division demonstrates the decaying mechanism of methane extraction concentration and flow in the in-seam borehole and can provide theoretical guidance for improvement of methane extraction.

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