The effects of a low temperature disposable diesel exhaust filter (DDEF) on coal haulage vehicle diesel tailpipe emissions and the effects of the DDEF on the mine ambient air during production operations were studied in two US underground coal mines. Ramcars in the test section were equipped with 100 horsepower diesel engines and operated for 3 days with the disposable diesel exhaust filter and 2 days without in both mines. Use of the DDEF-I successfully reduced the mine ambient air diesel particulate matter (DPM) concentrations with control efficiencies of 80 and 76%. The DPM control efficiency calculated from tailpipe measurements for mine-R was 52%, as compared with 80% for mine air measurements. The exhaust quality index control efficiency from tailpipe measurements for mine-R was 45%, compared with the air quality index (AQI) control efficiency of 48% from mine air measurements. For mine-S the similar measurements were 63%, compared with the 51% AQI control efficiency. At both mines the AQI was reduced from levels requiring protective equipment and/or ventilation to minimum risk levels by using the DDEF. DDEF use showed approximately 50% reductions in some of the potentially health related diesel exhaust components associated with the DPM and volatile organic component. Particle associated polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations and mutagenic activity in particular appeared to be reduced in the mine with the DDEF. However, the particles retained by the DDEF had greatly elevated levels of mutagenic activity associated with them, and may have enhanced potential to adsorb vapor phase hydrocarbons.
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