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A wide variety of techniques have been applied to gain insight into the processes that govern the self-heating of coal. These include oxidation mechanisms, ranking the propensity of different coals to self-heat, and the detection and suppression of self-heating. A frequent weakness in the literature about the kinetic data of self-heating systems is the absence of error estimates from regression analysis and the associated constraints on the reliability of the data for modeling. In addition, experimental and numerical work is needed to evaluate the methods used to acquire the kinetic data. Moist coal in coal mines and stockpiles has very different combustion characteristics than those predicted on the basis of dry testing. Consequently, methods for ranking the propensity of coal to spontaneously combust in actual mining conditions need to be developed.

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