Spontaneous combustion of coal has always plagued the coal mining industry. Many theories have been developed to explain the phenomenon and to predict the relative propensities of coal.
A review of the theories and the factors likely to affect spontaneous combustion is made, along with a discussion of the various methods of study available.
A description is given of the adiabatic calorimeter used in this research programme and the experimental procedure adopted. The results of the self-heating tests conducted are presented with analyses and discussion of results. It is found that the rate of self-heating determined in these tests can be related to the petrographic composition and the position of the coal in the coalification series.
Recommendations for future research to support the findings of this thesis are made.