Mining Publication: Continuous Miner Spray Considerations for Optimizing Scrubber Performance in Exhaust Ventilation Systems
A majority of continuous mining machines employ a water spray system and a machine mounted flooded-bed scrubber to suppress and capture dust during coal mining. These machine mounted dust control systems must be designed to function within the localized face ventilation system at the mining section to control both dust and methane. Spray systems can impede or improve the scrubber effectiveness in controlling dust or methane at the mining face. Laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the effect of spray type, spray pressure, machine body blocking sprays, and scrubber airflow on dust and gas levels while using a 12.2 m (40 ft) exhaust ventilation curtain setback from the face. These experiments were conducted with the mining machine positioned at the end of a simulated 6.1 m (20 ft) sump and slab cut. Results indicate that the hollow cone nozzles with blocking sprays best complemented the flooded-bed scrubber performance in an exhaust ventilation system. This external spray system notably reduced dust and gas levels on the off-curtain side of the mining machine for both the sump and slab cut as compared to the flat spray nozzles. Higher scrubber airflows reduced dust and gas levels on the curtain side and in the return of the continuous mining machine. The remote operator position, located on the off curtain side and parallel to the inlet end of the exhaust curtain, sustained the most stable and lowest dust levels around the mining machine.