Mining Publication: Evaluation of Two-Phase Spray System for Airborne Dust Control in a Longwall Gallery
The increased effectiveness of a two-phase spray system (TPSS) over a single-phase system (SPSS) for dust suppression is reported in several laboratory studies. The dust collection efficiencies of SPSS and TPSS were studied in a model experimental longwall gallery facility at Pittsburgh Research Laboratory at NIOSH (USA). The experimental design consisted of two factors: pressure, and airflow. Each factor had three levels. SPSS experiments were conducted at only one pressure (1035 kPa) which is nearly 1.5 times higher that the highest air and water pressure for TPSS experiments. The results of the study are presented in this paper. While it appears that TPSS performed better than SPSS, the data is not sufficiently conclusive on this aspect. The differing spray characteristics of the chosen TPSS and SPSS nozzles did not allow a direct comparison of the two systems. In the TPSS arrangement, considerably greater turbulence in airflow is created around the shearer: it is likely that at least in the immediate vicinity of the tailgate drum, there is a roll back of the dust/mist cloud into the walkway. Therefore, positioning of the personnel upwind of the tailgate drum is necessary to avoid high dust exposures. The rate of decrease in concentration with TPSS is higher than that with SPSS. This may be due to the greater atomization of the water. The test set-up did not allow the study of conditions when coal is cut from tail to head where the potential for personal exposure is high. Changes in the experimental design are necessary to overcome some of the reasons expected for the inconclusive results.