Minneapolis, MN: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, TN 403, 1992 Aug; :1-2
Objective: Provide the U.S. mining industry with the means to measure and control exhaust emissions of diesel engines used in underground mines. Approach: Diesel research is divided into four primary areas: exhaust aerosol measurement, particulate control, gaseous emission control, and chemical and biological characterization of particulate matter. Diesel research is frequently cosponsored by industry; collaborative research ventures between industry, academia, other government agencies, and the Bureau are common. Diesel research at the Bureau is conducted in the diesel engine research facility at the Bureau's Twin Cities Research Center (TCRC). This facility is a state-of-the-art laboratory capable of performing emissions testing, exhaust control evaluations, and safety tests. Background: Exposure of mine workers to airborne contaminants from diesel engine exhaust is potentially harmful. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has recommended that whole diesel exhaust be regarded as "a potential occupational carcinogen" and that "reductions in exposure to diesel exhaust in the workplace would reduce the risk." The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) convened an Advisory Committee on Standards and Regulations for Diesel-Powered Equipment and is beginning to implement its recommendations, which cover health, safety, and certification and approval issues surrounding the use of diesels underground. In January 1992, MSHA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to regulate diesel particulate matter in underground mines. Bureau Research Results: Information Circular (IC) 9324 is the proceedings of an Information and Technology Transfer Seminar on the measurement and control of diesel particulate emissions, to be held in Minneapolis, MN, on September 29-30, 1992. IC 9324 summarizes Bureau research to measure and control diesel exhaust emissions in underground mines. Topics include health issues associated with the use of diesel equipment underground, regulations, measurement techniques for diesel exhaust aerosol, levels of diesel exhaust pollutants found in mines, and a wide variety of exhaust emission control devices. Although the Bureau does not conduct health research, awareness of the health issues surrounding the use of diesel equipment underground is important to focus and establish the scope of the Bureau's diesel research program. Specific diesel exhaust pollutants are targeted for measurement and control. Measurement and characterization of diesel exhaust aerosol are critical to maintaining a healthful working environment. Bureau-developed techniques to measure diesel exhaust aerosol in coal and metal-nonmetal mines were used to evaluate the effectiveness of a disposable diesel exhaust filter on air quality in underground coal mines. The Bureau collected samples of diesel particulate matter in coal and metal-nonmetal mines and analyzed them for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon content and mutagenic activity. These analyses help to characterize mine air quality and to determine the effectiveness of emission control technology. Future regulations and emission control technology will affect the use of diesel-powered equipment underground. The Bureau is evaluating new engine and fuel technologies that have come about in response to the Environmental Protection Agency's requirements for cleaner exhaust emissions. In addition, the Bureau has developed and evaluated diesel emission control devices, including oxidation catalytic converters, disposable and reusable filters, ceramic diesel particulate filters, and a ceramic, regenerable-fiber, coil fiber. Each of these devices can be used in underground mines to decrease a miner's exposure to diesel pollutants.
Minneapolis, MN: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, TN 403