Mining Publication: Effects of a diesel particulate filter regeneration process on aerosols in an underground mine
This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration process on the concentrations and size distributions of aerosols in an underground mine. Two active regeneration strategies were examined for an electrically regenerated sintered metal fiber filtration system, and the effects were compared with those observed for a muffler and the same system operated in a passive configuration. The effects were assessed for three steady-state engine operating conditions. The number and mass concentrations and size distributions of aerosols in mine air were found to be strongly affected by the exhaust configuration, engine operating conditions and the regeneration process. When the system was operated in active configurations, the concentrations exhibited a transient and cyclic nature. At light load conditions, the distributions of aerosols in mine air were dominated by accumulation mode aerosols for all exhaust configurations and regeneration strategies. High concentrations of nucleation aerosols were observed when the DPF system was used and the engine was operated at high load conditions. A positive correlation between accumulation of particulate matter in the filter and the efficiency of the filter in removing accumulation mode aerosols was observed for all conditions. In the case of high engine load, reductions in accumulation mode aerosol concentrations were linked to a substantial increase in number concentrations of nucleation mode aerosol. Overall, the filtration system was found to be very effective in reducing total aerosol mass and elemental carbon concentrations for all engine operating conditions. However, the system was substantially more effective in passive than in active regeneration configurations.