Mining Publication: Water Infusion - An Effective and Economical Longwall Dust Control
In Europe, water infusion is used widely to reduce generation of respirable dust during mining. Its use in the United States is limited to a few plow operations in the Pocahontas No. 3 Coalbed. This Bureau of Mines report describes the technology for infusing water into a longwall panel and reports the results of a recent demonstration in the Lower Sunnyside Coalbed that achieved dust reductions averaging 58 pct. Because water infusion increases moisture content of the coalbed, face air velocities in excess of 500 ft/min (2.5 M/s) are possible, further diluting dust levels before dust entrainment occurs. An economic analysis shows a 23-pct reduction in operating costs when coal production is increased by changing from unidirectional mining to bidirectional mining with water infusion.