Mining Publication: Smoke, Carbon Monoxide, and Hydrogen Chloride Production from the Pyrolysis of Conveyor Belting and Brattice Cloth
In an underground mine fire, a toxic mixture of combustion product gases and particulate matter is transported by the ventilating system, endangering everyone downstream. To determine the magnitude of the problem that these toxic combustion products pose, the U.S. Bureau of Mines is investigating the combustion products of typical materials found in underground mines. The total toxicity of the combustion products depends upon the evolving gas species and particulate matter, the amount of material involved, and the ventilation rate. In a simulated mine environment, the products from smoldering polyvinyl chloride (PVC) brattice and conveyor belting were analyzed for gas concentrations and smoke characteristics. The primary toxic gases are hydrogen chloride and carbon monoxide. Smoldering conveyor belts are more detectable than smoldering pvc brattice cloths. These results, combined with previous analyses, are used to estimate relative toxicities, product levels, and detectability of smoldering mine combustibles.