Evaluation of a New Real Time Personal Dust Meter (PDM) for Engineering Studies on Mine Faces

Underground » General

Published: September 05Project Number: C14010

Get ReportAuthor: Stewart Gillies, Hsin Wei Wu | Gillies Wu Mining Technology

An ACARP supported study has been undertaken to evaluate a new realtime personal dust monitor for personal respirable dust evaluation use particularly in engineering studies. The evaluation is part of an international program of evaluation being undertaken by NIOSH in the US. It is believed to be the first personal dust monitor instrument (PDM) for use on mine faces that reliably delivers a near-real-time reading. It can quickly highlight high dust situations and allow the situation to be corrected.

The technology that forms the heart of the PDM, the TEOM® system is unique in its ability to collect suspended particles on a filter while simultaneously determining the accumulated mass. The monitor internally measures the true particle mass collected on its filter and results do not exhibit the same sensitivity to water spray as optically based measurement approaches. The technique achieves microgram level mass resolution even in the hostile mine environment, and reports dust loading data on a continuous basis. Using the device, miners and mine operators have the ability to view both the cumulative and projected end-of-shift mass concentration values, as well as a short-term 15 or 30 minute running average.

The project has contributed to general international assessment of the new instrument as part of a larger program being coordinated by Mr Jon Volkwein of NIOSH, Pittsburgh, USA. This study into use of the monitor as an engineering evaluation tool was also a pair to another Australian study being undertaken by Coal Services Pty Ltd evaluating the monitor as an alternative instrument for personal respirable dust sampling for meeting regulatory dust compliance standards.

The project was completed in four months. The US company contracted to manufacture the instrument, Rupprecht and Patashnick supported the project study in a number of ways including advice, training and the contributing of three instruments for the underground testing phase.

The instrument has been tested for robustness and potential to be used as an engineering tool to evaluate the effectiveness of dust control strategies. This project has evaluated the ability of the new PDM to quickly and accurately measure changes to longwall dust levels at manned points after implementation of an improvement. This was been done at two Australian longwall underground mines in a series of underground tests over 10 shifts.  Results demonstrated the ability of the instrument to increase understanding of the respirable dust exposure levels faced at various underground manned points.

The project measurement program focused on recognised areas for improvement through examination of different engineering approaches such as spray configuration, man positioning, engineering design changes to the shearer and so on. The project aimed to contribute to assisting in developing an approach to sampling measurement that is reliable and repeatable and can ascertain efficiency or effectiveness of engineering improvements.

It was found that the best way to evaluate changing dust concentrations within mine sections was to download the monitors’ data of dust reading against time and then add recorded activity information, location and other information. Some of this latter information has to be recorded manually and some can be downloaded from the mine communication computer face or belt activity log.

The successful use of the instrument is a significant advance on the current shift length determinations taken by personal respirable monitors or the optical instruments.

The PDM has successfully demonstrated its potential use as an engineering tool to locate and assess various sources of dust during normal mining operations. The principles and concepts used to identify and remedy some of the higher dust levels are generally common sense and easy to understand.

Some technology transfer from the project took place through publications and conferences. Mine management from several mines have shown interests in obtaining the units when they meet IS standards in Australia and are commercially available. 


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C27039True Triaxial Strength Of Coal Measure Rocks And Its Impact On Roadway Stability And Coal Burst Assessment

Rocks in the ground are subject to a range of stresses. The stresses...

C3063Underground Vehicle Design Standards And Statutory Implications

The Australian underground diesel vehicle fleet has evolved since di...

C3064Conveyor Belting And Lagging Shear Characteristics - Drive Drum Slip

The primary aim of this project was to investigate the relationsh...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C26029Geological Controls On Fluorine And Phosphorus In Bowen Basin Coals

Increasing global restrictions on fluorine in product coal prompted ...

C28033Raw Ash To Yield Relationships

Correct outcomes in yield predictions for product ash from coal bore...

C27038Establishing Self-Sustaining And Recognisable Ecological Mine Rehabilitation

In recent years an increasing interest has been placed on mining ope...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C27064Dry Beneficiation Using FGX And X-Ray Sorters

Conventional dry processing methods engage a single beneficiation de...

C26010Multi-Sloped Screening Efficiency With Changing Strokes, Frequencies, Feed Solids And Feed Rates-Pilot Plant Study

Optimising multi-sloped screens is often described as an art and the...

C28059Impact Of Water Quality In Coal Handling And Preparations Plants

The objective of this project was to deliver a concise reference do...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

C27054Optimisation Of A Thermal Flow Reversal Reactor For Ventilation Air Methane Mitigation

Ventilation air methane (VAM) generally accounts for 50-85% of the t...

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL) - Phase 2 Demonstration In A Packed Bed Reactor

An alternative approach to high temperature oxidation of ventilation...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook