Mining Publication: Work-Principle Model for Predicting Toxic Fumes of Nonideal Explosives
The work-principle from thermodynamics was used to formulate a model for predicting toxic fumes from mining explosives in underground chamber tests, where rapid turbulent combustion within the surrounding air noticeably changes the resulting concentrations. Two model constants were required to help characterize the reaction zone undergoing rapid chemical transformations in conjunction with heat transfer and work output: a stoichiometry mixing fraction and a reaction-quenching temperature. Rudimentary theory with an unsteady uniform concentration gradient was taken to characterize the combustion zone, yielding 75% for the mixing fraction. Four quenching temperature trends were resolved and compared to test results of ammonium nitrate compositions with different fuel-oil percentages (ANFO). The quenching temperature 2,345 K was the optimum choice for fitting the two major components of fume toxicity: carbon monoxide and total nitrogen oxides. The resulting two-constant model was used to generate comparisons for test results of ANFO compositions with additives. Although respectable fits were usually found, charge formulations that reacted weakly could not be resolved numerically. The work-principle model yields toxic concentrations for a range of charge formulations, making it a useful tool for investigating the potential hazard of released fumes and reducing the risk of unwanted incidents.