Mining Publication: Implementation of Diesel Particulate Filter Technology in Underground Metal and Nonmetal Mines
Achieving substantial reductions in the exposure of underground miners to diesel particulate matter in a number of metal and nonmetal mines in the United States depends on the ability of the industry to widely implement advanced diesel emissions control technologies, primarily diesel particulate filter (DPF) systems. Recent field studies showed that diesel particulate filter systems with cordierite and silicon carbide ceramic filter elements are capable of reducing concentrations of diesel particulate matter and elemental carbon by more than 70% and 90%, respectively. However, those studies and several other attempts to implement DPF systems in underground mines revealed a number of relatively unique technical and operational challenges that are limiting industry-wide implementation of this technology. This paper provides detailed analysis of some of those challenges and short overviews of several projects launched by the NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory in an attempt to provide the underground mining industry with more adequate DPF systems. These systems use advanced technologies to overcome the most pronounced challenge--the regeneration of DPF elements installed on mining engines that generate relatively low exhaust temperature. This paper presents essential findings obtained through a long-term evaluation of DPF systems with diesel fuel burner technology installed on a heavy-duty load-haul-dump vehicle in an underground metal mine. In addition, the essential results of the laboratory evaluation of a popular on-highway DPF system that was adapted and optimized for underground mining applications are summarized in this paper.