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Continuous mining dust levels in 20-foot cuts with and without a scrubber operating.

Colinet JF; Reed WR; Potts JD
2014 SME Annual Meeting, February 23-26, Salt Lake City, Utah, Preprint 14-033. Englewood, CO: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., 2014 Feb; :1-7
Flooded-bed scrubbers on continuous miners have been shown to be an effective respirable dust control technology, traditionally used during the extraction of extended cuts of up to 12.2 m (40 ft). To effectively use scrubbers in faces that employ exhaust ventilation, the return ventilation curtain or tubing should be located outby the scrubber discharge on the continuous miner, which results in a setback distance from the face of approximately 12.2 m (40 ft). The goal of this research was to compare respirable dust levels generated in 6.1 m (20 ft) cuts when using extended curtain setbacks with a scrubber operating to dust levels in 6.1 m (20 ft) cuts when using traditional exhaust face ventilation without a scrubber operating. Dust surveys were completed at three mines with area and personal sampling conducted to quantify respirable dust concentrations on a cut-by-cut basis. Sampling results did not show a statistically significant difference in respirable dust at the continuous miner or shuttle car locations with and without the scrubber operating. However, with the scrubber operating, respirable dust concentrations in the return airstream downwind of the miner showed reductions of 91%, 86%, and 40% at Mines A, B, and C, respectively. The reductions at Mines A and B were statistically significant. Likewise, reductions in respirable quartz dust levels in the miner return were observed at all three mines,with statistically significant reductions of over 80% observed at Mines A and B. Consequently, operation of the flooded-bed scrubber did not Impact respirable dust levels in the face area but did significantly reduce respirable and quartz dust levels downwind of the continuous miner. These results were obtained with the mines operating at or above the minimum operating levels specified in their ventilation plans.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Coal-mining; Coal-dust; Dust-analysis; Dust-particles; Scrubbers; Respirable-dust; Ventilation; Sampling; Statistical-analysis; Dust-control; Dust-control-equipment; Dust-suppression; Engineering-controls; Control-technology
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2014 SME Annual Meeting, February 23-26, Salt Lake City, Utah, Preprint 14-033
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division