When a coal stockpile is stored in the presence of air, slow oxidation of the carbonaceous materials occurs and heat is released. If the rate of heat generation within the stockpile is greater than the rate of heat dissipation and transportation to the external environment, the self-heating of the coal stockpile ensues. The self-heating of coal stockpiles has a long history of posing significant problems to coal producers because it lowers the quality of coal and may result in hazardous thermal runaway. Precise prediction of the self-heating process is, therefore, necessary in order to identify and evaluate control measures and strategies for safe coal mining, storage and transportation. Such a prediction requires an accurate estimate of the various processes associated with the self-heating which are impossible unless the appropriate phenomenological coefficients are known. This note is to present a simple approach to determine the effective thermal conductivity of a granular porous medium such as a coal stockpile.

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