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Mining Project: Control Technologies and Strategies for Reducing Exposure of Underground Miners to Diesel Emissions

Project DetailValue
Principal Investigators
  • Aleksandar Bugarski, NIOSH, 412-386-5912
Start Date10/1/2009
Purpose

The objective of this project is to reduce exposures of underground miners to diesel particulate matter and gases. This will be achieved via development, evaluation, and implementation of various control technologies and strategies and through developing a better understanding of the risks associated with exposure of workers to aerosols and gases emitted by diesel engines.

Program Area
Keywordscontrol technology, diesel, underground mining

Research Summary

In recent years, health effects associted with exposure to diesel particulate matter (DPM) and other combustion-generated nanometer and ultrafine aerosols have received substantial attention. Diesel engines, which are widely used to power vehicles and equipment in mining, trucking, and many other industries, were found to be a major source of workers' exposure to nanometer and ultrafine aerosols.

This project will evaluate and aim to implement the current and emerging control technologies and strategies that are used to reduce the exposure of workers to DPM. The physical, chemical, and toxicologocial properties of DPM will be characterized through a series of engine/dnynamometer tests at the NIOSH Diesel Laboratory at the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research and through a series of isolated zone studies in production mines. As part of the technology transfer, some of the evaluated technologies and strategies will be implemented in participating mines and evaluated over an extended period of time. The knowledge obtained in this study will help in reducing the exposure of underground miners to diesel aerosols via implementation and greater acceptance of advanced diesel emissions control technologies, education on advanced strategies, and greater knowlege on the health implications related to exposure to DPM. 

The specific aims of this project are:

  • Evaluation of exhaust aftertreatment systems designed for particulate emissions control such as diesel particulate filter (DPF) systems and flow through filters (FTFs), and the systems for control of gaseous emissions such as diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and selective catalyst reduction (SCR).
  • Evaluation of filtration systems used on enclosed cabs, with the emphasis given to the efficiency of those systems that remove DPM from the mine air. The potential for reducing NO2 concentrations will be examined. 
  • Evaluation of alternative fuels such as biodiesel and potentially gas-to-liquid synthetic diesel.
  • Detailed physical and chemical characterization and speciation of diesel aerosols collected during laboratory and field studies.
  • Examination of metrics for monitoring exposure to diesel aerosols.
  • Assistance to the underground mining industry in the selection and implementation of these technologies and strategies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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