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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 Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
He researched the principles behind gas explosions and came up with a design for a lamp based on the observation that a fine-gauge wire mesh could prevent a flame "leaking" from a lamp and igniting any firedamp outside.
It was believed that an explosion of firedamp had sped through the underground development, caused by an opened safety lamp igniting the gas.
Davy carried out investiga into the problem of gassy pits, worki samples of firedamp collected from burn Colliery in August 1815.
Yildiz who briefed reporters on rescue efforts in the site of firedamp explosion Tuesday in Zonguldak said the debris had to be cleaned, before rescue teams could continue looking for trapped miners.
Perhaps heads lifted from the worlk of scrubbing steps, hands still from wringing rainbows onto slate while below the town, deep in the pit a rock fall struck spark from a steel, and fired the void, punched through the mine a fist of blazing firedamp. As they died, perhaps a silence, before the sirens cried, before the people gathered in the street, before she'd finished hanging out the sheets.
Three coal seams were worked at Gresford: The Dennis shaft produced softer industrial coal but was prone to firedamp.
Alf Manifesto, the fifty souls lost to the firedamp blast of 1960, Gabriel Parry, his old man.
If we had the technology then as now we would have saved many miners' lives by being able to remove the methane gas (firedamp) from the coal levels as in the Universal Colliery.
The accident was caused by ignition of firedamp (methane) which then triggered a coal dust explosion.
Firedamp explosion in Dursunbey revealed that those who added value to the country in hard works were not valued.