Fire incidents in underground coal storage

Juha Sipilä, Pertti Auerkari

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


    Autoignition of coal in underground storage facilities is reviewed in the light of recent incidents of smouldering fires. The opportunities to prevent and extinguish closed-space fires are also considered considering the efficiency of the available alternatives. The challenges of such fires are highlighted by an example case, describing the observations and outcome of a smouldering coal storage fire. The principles of self-heating and most critical factors in spontaneous combustion such as the condition and quality of coal are fairly well known, but usually only provide partial help in fire prevention. The experience suggests that nitrogen injection can be useful for extinguishing controllable fires, while more extensive measures may be needed against uncontrolled fires. In general, efficient fire extinction during plant operation can be challenging, as any air ingress tends to feed the fire. Methods and indicators for predicting and detecting the ignition are discussed, and improvements are suggested to enhance the storage and plant availability. Also, new experience on dealing with frozen coal is discussed in brief.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBaltica VIII
    Subtitle of host publicationLife Management and Maintenance for Power Plants
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7594-7
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7593-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
    EventBALTICA VIII - International Conference on Life Management and Maintenance for Power Plants - Helsinki-Stockholm, Finland
    Duration: 18 May 201020 May 2010

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Symposium


    ConferenceBALTICA VIII - International Conference on Life Management and Maintenance for Power Plants


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