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Measurement and analysis of respirable dust and gaseous pollutant concentrations in three U.S. underground coal mines.

Carlson DH; Cornilsen BC; Shan X; Johnson JH
Respirable dust in the mineral industries, proceedings of the 3rd symposium on respirable dust in the mineral industries, October 17-19, 1990, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Frantz RL, Ramani RV, eds. Littleton, CO: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., 1991 Jan; :383-392
The air in three U.S. underground coal mines has been sampled. The data developed show the relative importance of the various pollutants and quantify the need for control. Total respirable particulate matter (TRPM) was found to be the critical pollutant (the one requiring the most dilution for control). TRPM is considered to be "respirable coal dust" by procedures approved for sampling in U.S. underground coal mines. However, this "respirable coal dust" also includes diesel particulate matter (DPM) and particulate from other sources. While "respirable coal dust" was the critical pollutant, Raman spectroscopic analysis showed that more than half of this "respirable coal dust" was DPM. The DPM in the samples ranged from 22 to 152% of the 2 mg/m3 limit for respirable coal dust. Thus DPM was the critical pollutant using the 2 mg/m3 respirable coal dust limit. S02 gas produced by the combustion of diesel fuel containing sulfur was the second-most critical pollutant. Characteristic curve slope (CCS) values were calculated to determine the quantities of the various pollutants generated per unit of diesel haulage activity. Mine 1 had the highest TRPM CCS values with 29 mg/m3/%C02 for the Ramcar and 57 mg/m3/%C02 for the Haulageway location. The highest coal particulate CCS measured was 30 mg/m3/%C02 and the highest diesel particulate CCS measured was 27 mg/m3 / %CO2. Both of these high values were measured in the Mine 1 haulageway location. Calculations were made to determine the controlling CO2 concentrations (CCC) at which all other measured pollutants would be within their limits. These CCC values, which, for the mines sampled, were based on TRPM, varied from a low of about 0.07% for the Mine 1 haulageway location, to a high of about 0.15% for the Mine 2 Ramcar and haulageway locations. Weekly average CO2 concentrations measured in these mines ranged from 0.09 to 0.11% for the Ramcar, from 0.05 to 0.09% for the haulageway, and from 0.08 to 0.11 % for the return. The concentrations of TRPM ranged from 1 and 2 mg/m3 in mine areas frequented by personnel, and to greater than 4 mg/m3 in returns where personnel are not exposed.
Mining industry; Coal gas; Coal dust; Coal industry; Coal mines; Coal mining; Underground mines; Underground mining; Respirable dust; Particulates; Particulate dust; Diesel emissions; Diesel exhaust; Diesel exhausts
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Frantz RL; Ramani RV
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
MIR 03-94
Source Name
Respirable dust in the mineral industries, proceedings of the 3rd symposium on respirable dust in the mineral industries, October 17-19, 1990, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Performing Organization
Michigan Technological University
Page last reviewed: November 12, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division