|Modern Coal Related Technology|
Underground Mining Equipment
A machine with a large rotating steel drum equipped with tungsten carbide teeth that scrape coal from the seam. Operating in a “room and pillar” system – where the mine is divided into a series of 20-to-30 foot “rooms” or work areas cut into the coalbed – it can mine as much as five tons of coal a minute – more than a miner of the 1920s would produce in an entire day. Continuous miners account for about 45% of underground coal production, and also utilize conveyors to transport the removed coal from the seam. Remote controlled continuous miners are used to work in a variety of difficult seams and conditions and robotic versions controlled by computers are becoming increasingly common.