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Improved Stench Fire Warning for Underground Mines.

Pomroy WH; Muldoon TL
MISSING :33 pages
This report describes Bureau of Mines research that led to the design, prototype fabrication, and successful proof-of-concept testing of an improved stench fire-warning system for underground noncoal mines. Stench systems are the most widely used means of warning miners in underground noncoal mines of fires or other emergencies. A stench system alerts miners that an emergency condition exists by injecting an odorant into the mine air. Although stench warning systems have been used successfully for over 60 yr, present systems suffer several serious shortcomings, including odorant toxicity, unreliability of warnings, widely varying stench concentrations, and others. In 1980, the Bureau began a research program to upgrade the stench warning system. The resultant system overcomes the deficiencies of existing systems by substituting tetrahydrothiophene for the commonly used ethyl mercaptan stench odorant, and through the use of a specially designed stench injector. The improved injector reliably meters stench fluid into either ventilation-air or compressed-air streams at a precisely controlled rate. Prototype hardware has been fabricated and proof-of-concept tested under both laboratory and in- mine conditions.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Information Circular;
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
IC 9016
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division