Mining Publication: Fugitive Carbon-Based Gases: Blasting Related or Not
Surface mine blasting was recently investigated as a potential source of high concentrations of stray gases found in nearby residences in western Pennsylvania. In one incident, carbon monoxide was detected in a home; in the other, high concentrations of carbon dioxide were found in a home. Both carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are byproducts of blasting. However, other sources of these gases may also exist in a residential setting. In each case, gas chromatography and carbon isotope analyses were used to define atmospheric concentrations inside the homes and to determine the source of a stray gas. Molecular and isotopic analyses provide geochemical evidence as to the origin and source of the stray gas. This paper discusses elements of a stray gas investigation and the analyses necessary to identify the source of a stray gas.