Sources and Characteristics of Quartz Dust in Coal Mines.
Organiscak-JA; Page-SJ; Jankowski-RA
Quartz dust is one of the most significant ongoing health concerns in coal mining today. Since the early 1980's, the U.S. Bureau of Mines has conducted numerous studies in underground and surface coal Mines to identify the sources of quartz dust and its fundamental characteristics. This report presents data and conclusions obtained from these studies. The two most significant quartz dust sources were found to be the continuous miner excavating rock and the highwall drill operating in a rock overburden. The percentage of quartz was found to be higher in the smaller size fractions of dust when significant amounts of rock were mined by the continuous miner. Another factor theorized to affect quartz dust generation and size characteristics is the morphology of the quartz-bearing rock. Several laboratory studies were conducted to investigate capture efficiency of water spray technology and flooded-bed scrubbers with respect to the particle size of the dust. Water sprays and flooded- bed scrubbers were both found to be less efficient on smaller dust particles, and the scrubber was particularly less efficient on quartz dust. These results indicate that quartz control technology should be directed at controlling smaller sized dust particles.
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