Extending The Life Of Disposable Exhaust Filters In Vehicles Operating In Underground Coal Mines

Underground » Maintenance

Published: June 13Project Number: C21017

Get ReportAuthor: Varun Rao, Daya Dayawansa, Damon Honnery, Scot Sharman, Gil Garnier & Paul Curcio | Monash University

Diesel particulate matter (DPM) control at underground coal mines has been an ongoing concern for some time, but mine operators have recently begun to take proactive approaches to improve the air quality in the mine atmosphere. Although there are other methods of reducing particulate emissions from diesel engines, by far the most effective approach is to use diesel exhaust particulate filters. Filters that are currently available have poor service life.


The main objectives of the project were to investigate the accelerated degradation of diesel particulate filters and understand the root causes so that strategies can be developed to improve filter life and reduce overall filter cost. Investigations were undertaken into following aspects in order to achieve these objectives:

The causes and mechanisms responsible for the DPM filter degradation;

Strategies that can be employed to reduce the degradation processes;

Safe methods of filter life extension without compromising filter efficiency and its primary function; and

Improved strategies for overall exhaust treatment to maximise filter life.


Filter life is governed by the backpressure imposed on the engine by the exhaust conditioning system that includes the filter. For many operational conditions, high filter backpressure has been shown to result from high water carry-over from the exhaust conditioning system, rather than due to accumulated DPM loading.


Water carry-over is a consequence of the exhaust system layout and engine duty cycle. Diesel engines operating underground make use of a water scrubber to eliminate exhaust sparking and reduce exhaust gas temperatures. Based on in-service testing, it is very likely that filters are changed prematurely due to high water retention, before they have reached their maximum DPM loading potential. Therefore, their life can be extended by regenerating the filter by removal of the excess water.


The project investigated the safety and performance implications of re-use of regenerated filters, both in terms of filter medium integrity and DPM filtration efficiency. Based on the current investigation, where water retention is the primary cause of poor filter life, filter life can be extended by re-using these regenerated filters up to 5 times without compromising filter medium integrity or DPM filtration efficiency. Therefore, filter life can potentially be increased five folds by implementation of practical regeneration methods. It is best if specific procedures for regeneration be developed in collaboration with filter manufacturers and vehicle OEMs rather than leaving that responsibility to individual mines. This aspect should be the subject of a separate investigation.


The wet and dry performance of three different brands of filters was investigated, along with their basic characteristics, using specifically designed laboratory tests and the Monash University Diesel Engine Facility. Due to availability issues of appropriate sizes of filters, one filter type was comprehensively tested but only a limited number of tests could be performed on the other two types. The information generated indicates that there is potential for improvement in filter designs to optimise the DPM capture while reducing the cost of filter usage.


The laboratory tests showed that the amount of water carried over from the scrubber can vary depending on different operating conditions and the control of the scrubber water levels. It is necessary to improve the performance of the wet scrubber systems to reduce the amounts of water released downstream into the filter canister. This aspect should also be a subject for a separate detailed investigation.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C28026Measuring The Height Of Fracturing Above Extracted Longwall Panels To Improve Reliability Of Groundwater Impact Predictions

Longwall mining is a mining method widely used in the Australian und...

C25059Development Of An Intrinsically Safe, Integrated Wireless Communications Network With A Distributed Array Of Geotechnical Sensors

For over 20 years, SCT Operations (SCT) have provided a range of ind...

C26051An On-Machine Bolting And Geotechnical Monitoring System

The primary objective of this project was to investigate how laser s...


Open Cut

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

Recently Completed Projects

C27046Estimation Of True Deformation Vector From Slope Radar Monitoring

Slope deformation radar monitors are now widely used in open cut coa...

C29003Wear Debris Removal From Dragline Commutators

The original aim of this project was to establish a method of removi...

C28037Local Scale Dispersion Modelling To Support ACARP Emission Factors

There remains significant concern in the industry regarding the accu...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C27032Coal Grain Analysis Applications Handbook

This Handbook sets out recommended practices for using coal grain an...

C26012Improved Flotation Recovery Via Controlling Froth Behaviour

There is no real-time measurement for coal flotation performance, ma...

C27012Towards Better Fine Coal Classification

It is well recognised that the efficient classification of fine coal...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C26039Nanoporosity In Cokes: Their Origin, Control And Influence On CO2 Reactivity

This project using the outcomes of previous project C24060, examine...

C28063A Comprehensive Technical Review Of High-Efficiency Low-Emission (HELE) Pulverised Coal Combustion Technologies For Power Generation

Research and development has been undertaken worldwide to realise co...

C28064Carbon Structure Transformation During Coking Of Australian Coking Coals: Better Understanding The Coke Formation

Carbon structures of coke that are formed during the plastic layer a...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C26004CFD Modelling Of Reverse Thermal Oxidisers For VAM Abatement - CFD Modelling Of Fixed-Bed RTO Devices

The project is part of a larger multi‐phase program of study a...

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

C27008Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids

The connection of a ventilation air methane (VAM) abatement plant di...

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