Mining Publication: Effect of Water Sprays on Airflow Movement and Methane Dilution at the Working Face
NIOSH has been conducting research to determine the influence of mining machine-mounted water sprays on airflows and methane concentrations at the face when blowing ventilation systems are used. Tests were conducted in a full-scale ventilation gallery. Airflow speeds and directions were measured at several locations near the face with ultrasonic anemometers. Methane was released from the face and concentrations were measured in the entry at locations above the mining machine using fixed-point methanometers. Changes in airflow speed, direction, and methane concentrations were correlated with water spray operations. The test results using different spray arrangements and water pressures showed that operation of the machine-mounted sprayers can improve face ventilation effectiveness by increasing the velocity of airflow moving toward and away from the face. The improved ventilation resulted in reduced methane levels near the face.