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Conference Proceedings

Australian Mine Ventilation Conference 2017

Conference Proceedings

Australian Mine Ventilation Conference 2017

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Application of an environmental black carbon' particulate sensor for continuous measurement of DPM in three underground mines

Ensuring that diesel particulate matter (DPM) levels in underground metal and non-metal mines are maintained below statutory limits is an essential requirement of mine ventilation systems. However, despite the cost of providing ventilation, air ventilation rates are usually based upon models, assumptions, or measurements integrated over long durations rather than actual need. Real-time measurement of DPM, interpreted in terms of mine activity schedules, can offer better ventilation management to keep DPM within regulated levels while controlling costs. This work presents data from three demonstration sites with in-mine applications of an environmental particulate sensor that measured black carbon (BC) as a surrogate for DPM.Aethalometers are a class of environmental monitors that measure the light absorbance of aerosol particles at several optical wavelengths. A model AE33 Aethalometer was operated in three separate mines for periods of two weeks, three months, and seven-plus months, and the data was reported in real time as a concentration of BC. Concentration of aromatic organic compounds, which can indicate other forms of combustion, was also reported. The data was used to:- measure the relative efficiency of a new scale-model DPM air scrubber- determine if ventilation could be reduced in a shotcrete loading facility without compromising air quality- evaluate diurnal and weekly DPM levels in a large-entry stone mine. Instrument data were displayed locally and stored for later downloading in all cases. In one mine, the instrument was connected to a local controller, and in another it was connected to the mine's underground network so that DPM data was presented in real time to a display in the mine ventilation engineering office on the surface.The results showed that the air scrubber removes from 82percent to 95percent of the DPM; that DPM produced during shotcrete loading is only a minor part of overall DPM levels; and that wide variations in DPM levels exist in the limestone operation. The DPM monitor operated continuously for extended periods in these underground environments. The only maintenance required was the routine replacement of filter tape, typically on a two-week schedule. A sample diluter, which is currently being tested, could extend the intervals between filter changes. The real-time data output of the Aethalometer is appropriate for direct integration into ventilation-on-demand control systems.CITATION:Volkwein, J C, Barrett, C, Sarver, E and Hansen, A D A, 2017. Application of an environmental black carbon' particulate sensor for continuous measurement of DPM in three underground mines, in Proceedings Australian Mine Vent Conference 2017, pp 143-150 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).
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  • Published: 2016
  • PDF Size: 1.891 Mb.
  • Unique ID: P201704021

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