ACARP ACARP ACARP ACARP
Open Cut

Development of Australia-Specific PM10 Emission Factors for Coal Mines

Open Cut » Environment

Published: September 15Project Number: C22027

Get ReportAuthor: Damon Roddis, Greer Laing, Paul Boulter & Judith Cox | Pacific Environment Operations

Pacific Environment was awarded funding from ACARP for a study to review, update and further develop the emission factors that are used to quantify fugitive dust from open cut coal mining operations in Australia. In the context of the study fugitive dust was characterised as airborne particulate matter (PM) with an aerodynamic diameter of size equal to or less than 10 micrometres (μm) (PM10).

 

The study focussed on the four main PM-generating activities at coal mies:

· Hauling of coal and overburden on unsealed roads;

· Bulldozer activity;

· Trucks loading/unloading coal and overburden;

· Wind erosion of exposed material (e.g. overburden dumps, coal stockpiles, exposed areas of land).

 

The main objective of the study was to deliver a new set of scientifically robust, Australia-specific PM10 emission factors for three of the four main activities listed above (emission factors were not developed for wind erosion). It is anticipated that the use of these emission factors will reduce the uncertainty in the estimates of PM10 emissions from open cut coal mines in Australia, thus contributing to the better understanding and management of such emissions.

 

There were seen to be significant positive synergies between the project's experimental design and the requirements of a Pollution Reduction Program placed upon all open cut coal mines in New South Wales (PRP U3). Accordingly, the study additionally completed an evaluation of best practice measures for the control of PM from the use of equipment on overburden and the loading and dumping of overburden (referred to as Coal Mine Pollution Reduction Program Condition U3 Assessment).

 

Methodology

The PM10 emission factors have been determined from a series of field measurement campaigns at a total of six coal mines in the Upper Hunter Valley and Gunnedah Basin regions of New South Wales. Measurements were conducted between March 2013 and March 2015, and covered a range of seasonal and operational conditions. The conditions and operational activities at the six mines were considered to be representative of coal mines in Australia.

 

Emission factors for specific mining activities were determined.

 

In addition, bulk samples of the relevant source materials (e.g. haul road dust, coal stockpiles) were collected at the time of the PM10 measurements, and the materials were subsequently analysed for silt content, moisture content, and threshold friction velocity.

 

As part of the Coal Mine Pollution Reduction Program Condition U3 Assessment, several potential measures for controlling the dust generated by overburden handling were investigated. Each technique was assessed for its practicability in a mining environment, and was quantitatively evaluated, where possible, in terms of its effectiveness.

 

The outcomes of this project have significantly advanced the understanding of and characterisation of appropriate emission factors for the quantification of fugitive dust from open cut coal mining operations in Australia.

 

· The study has led to several improvements in the understanding of PM emissions from coal mines. It has: Established new emission factors for hauling on unsealed roads. These emission factors are significantly lower than those calculated using the USEPA AP-42 emission factor equations.

· Established new emission factors for bulldozers operating on coal and overburden. The emission factor for bulldozer on coal is significantly lower than those calculated using the USEPA AP-42 emission factor equations

· Established new emission factors for coal and overburden handling (loading/unloading) activities. These emission factors are significantly lower than those calculated using the USEPA AP-42 emission factor equations.

· Provided quantitative control efficiencies for control measures on wind erosion sources.

· Quantitatively evaluated the efficiencies of various measures for controlling dust due to overburden handling activities.

· Produced a database of material characteristics for reference in the development of emission inventories for Australian open cut coal mines.

 

These data may be applied both in combination with existing techniques for emission quantification, as well as in their own right.

 

It is considered that the measured emission factors are for the most part significantly lower than those provided in the USEPA's AP-42 for a number of reasons, including:

· The underlying geology and road construction techniques are likely to differ at modern Australian mines compared with US conditions at the time of AP-42 development (data representative of 12 field test reports spanning the years 1979 to 1996).

· In New South Wales, high temperatures are typically combined with high humidity, which may not be the case for the US locations tested. Higher humidity will reduce the capacity to raise dust.

· Mine vehicles used in modern Australian mining are significantly higher (both in total height and space between road surface and bottom of vehicle body), have six wheels and are more optimised in terms of aerodynamic shape compared with historical equipment evaluated under the AP-42.

· Default emission rates for dozers have previously assumed relatively low moisture contents and relatively high silt contents compared with those measured as part of this study.

· Further, the silt content of overburden was measured as being significantly higher than coal, and threshold friction velocities support that overburden is more readily friable than coal.

 

The study outcomes reduce the uncertainty in the estimates of PM10 emissions from open cut coal mines in Australia. The information within this study is directly applicable to the development of atmospheric emission inventories and modelling studies, and contributes to the understanding and management of such emissions.

 

Underground

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...

Underground

Open Cut

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

Recently Completed Projects

C29021Assessing The Impact Of Consecutive Night Shifts On Night-Time Alertness, Daytime Sleep And Timing Of The Circadian System

In the Australian coal mining industry, most guidelines for managing...

C33037Quantifying Recharge To Groundwater Systems In The NSW Coalfields (Sydney, Gunnedah And Gloucester Basins)

The purpose of this project was to estimate the rate of diffuse rec...

C26029Geological Controls On Fluorine And Phosphorus In Bowen Basin Coals

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

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

NERDDC

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

NERDDC