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see dampdamp,
in mining, any mixture of gases in an underground mine, especially oxygen-deficient or noxious gases. The term damp probably is derived from the German dampf, meaning fog or vapor. Several distinct types of damp are recognized.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a combustible gas released usually in coal mines, less often in salt, metal-ore, and sulfur mines. Firedamp is colorless, lighter than air (since it consists mainly of methane), and contains nitrogen, neon, argon, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide and traces of ethane, propane, ethylene, and other hydrocarbons. In mineral deposits it results from the decomposition of organic substances caused by microorganisms, heat, pressure, and sometimes radiation. When the content of firedamp in the air is from 5 to 16 percent (as measured by methane content), the mixture produced can be ignited by a flame or sparks and cause explosions and fires.

Permissible firedamp concentrations range from 0.5 to 2 percent. The explosive accumulation of the gas is lowered by mine ventilation. Special safety lighting and electrical equipment is used to prevent firedamp from igniting. Firedamp in a mine atmosphere reduces the concentration of oxygen, which may lead to suffocation.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(mining engineering)
A gas formed in mines by decomposition of coal or other carbonaceous matter; consists chiefly of methane and is combustible.
An airtight stopping to isolate an underground fire and to prevent the inflow of fresh air and the outflow of foul air. Also known as fire wall.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Then, SDS-kaolin and THF-SDS compounded systems were found to improve the formation rate of mine gas hydrate, and it was better than the superposition of the single additive [13-15], which showed that the compound additives had the coordinated effect.
CONTROVERSIAL plans for hundreds of homes in a Northumberland town have been put on hold amid concerns over a potentially lethal mine gas.
Control of Coal Mine Gas. China University of Mining and Technology Press, Xuzhou, 1992 (in Chinese).
In April a coal mine gas explosion in the North-Eastern Jilin province killed 18 miners and injured 12 others.
and Aziz, N.I.: 2010, Impact of coal properties and operational factors on mine gas drainage, in Proceedings of the 10th Underground Coal Operator's Conference COAL2010, University of Wollongong, (eds: N I Aziz and J A Nemcik), Wollongong, 11-12 February, 229-240.
At the conference on preventing coal mine gas outburst accidents held on Thursday, the provincial coal industry bureau released a list of 216 coal mine pits, which had failed to pass the inspection on gas outburst prevention.
mine gas blast in southwest China's Sichuan Province, state-run Xinhua News
Bekin, March 28 (BNA) -- Eight workers were killed and three injured in a coal mine gas leak in southwest China's Guizhou Province early today, local authorities said.
Last Thursday, Xinhua reported that at least one miner died and another six were trapped underground after a coal mine was flooded in eastern province of Fujian, while five people died in a coal mine gas leak in southwestern China's Chongqing Municipality.