ACARP ACARP ACARP ACARP
Underground

Application of an Elemental Carbon Analyser to the Measurement of Particulate Levels from Diesel Vehicles

Underground » Health and Safety

Published: May 00Project Number: C7014

Get ReportAuthor: Brian Davies | Australian Environmental Health Services

Research has found that a new American instrument used to measure particulate levels from diesel vehicle exhaust is suitable for use in Australian coal mines.

Diesel vehicles in the underground mining industry offer greater flexibility (and therefore greater productivity) than standard electric vehicles. However, concerns have arisen over the potential for diesel exhaust and particulates to impact on the health of mine employees.

Historically, Bosch smoke meters have been the sole means of measuring soot levels in the exhaust of diesel engines used in the mining industry. These measurements were normally made during the approval of an engine package and no further routine monitoring was performed. While the Bosch smoke meter is easy to use, it only provides relative data and bears no relationship to ambient monitoring of employee exposure.

Rupprecht & Patashnick Co Inc (R&P) has developed a measurement technique based on elemental and total carbon, called Series 5100. This instrument was developed for use by vehicle manufacturers in the USA concerned with Environmental Protection Agency requirements that "over the road" vehicles produce less diesel particulate.

Project Objectives

The project had three key objectives, to:

  • Validate an R&P Series 5100 diesel particulate measurement system against a standard elemental carbon method (NIOSH Method 5040)
  • Establish the suitability of the instrument for the analysis of diesel particulate in the raw exhaust of underground diesel vehicles
  • Determine the range of dust particulate levels in the exhaust of as many in-service mine vehicles as possible and establish those parameters that cause variations in dust particulate levels in the exhaust of the same engine type.

Findings

Initial testing involved the use of an "over the road" 4WD Toyota Landcruiser as the emission source and simultaneous samples were collected for validation using NIOSH Method 5040 at the University of Sydney. Further laboratory familarisation exercises were conducted until an acceptable level of competence was achieved.

These laboratory trials demonstrated the difficulties in modifying a laboratory-based instrument to a mine site environment and considerable time was consumed in ensuring that the instrument would withstand the rigors of the tasks proposed. This evaluation resulted in several refinements to the project work plan.

The research found:

  • That the R&P Series 5100 diesel particulate analyser has the potential to control the output of particulate from diesel vehicles. Routine exhaust monitoring via mobile laboratories (similar to that currently used for gas analysis) may be effective in controlling employee exposures.
  • Reasonable agreement at low diesel particulate concentrations, however, technical issues limited comparisons at higher concentrations of diesel particulate.
  • Each vehicle engine type may have a normal output range and extreme variations from that range are usually due to mechanical fault or ineffective maintenance.
  • The instrument has the potential to assist mine management in the selection of low emission equipment, thereby increasing operational flexibility and potentially reducing overall emission levels.
  • The instrument has the potential to evaluate new control technologies in situ with minimal disruption to operations.
  • More data is required before its application to "type testing" (approvals) can be evaluated.
  • Concerns expressed that the introduction of flame protected 4WD vehicles would increase the level of diesel particulate in the mine atmosphere appear to be unfounded. Reductions of 70 percent to 90 percent per engine may be possible, thereby reducing overall general airbody diesel particulate levels.

Where To From Here

Further research and development is required before the R&P 5100 (or some other similar device) could be used in a routine manner within the Australian coal industry. Issues that need to be further evaluated or developed include:

  • The incorporation of the R&P 5100 into a mobile laboratory, possibly one of the three mobile gas laboratories in New South Wales (BHP Environmental Health Laboratory, ACIRL Newcastle, Department of Mineral Resources)
  • The relationship between dust particulates measured by the R&P 5100 and maintenance parameters
  • The level of expensive retrofitted control technologies required to achieve acceptable dust particulate levels
  • The relationship between exhaust dust particulate concentration, ventilation and employee exposure.

 

Underground

Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C25060Development Of Borehole Shear Monitoring Device For Routine Application In Coal Mine Roadways

This project outlines the development of a cost effective, routine s...

C26056Optimisation Of Low And High Pressure Longwall Hydraulic Systems

This project aimed to establish if longwalls with Hi-Set systems cou...

C27007Assessment Of Pyrite Coal Dust Induced Pneumoconiosis

There have been recent concerns regarding the re-identification of C...

Underground

Open Cut

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

Recently Completed Projects

C25031Developing Closure Criteria For River Diversions: An Alternative To Reference Sites

The use of reference sites for establishing closure criteria in area...

C25025Guidelines For Estimating Coal Measure Rock Mass Strength From Laboratory Properties - Report A Empirical Approach And Report B Synthetic Rock Mass Models

This report combined different approaches to investigate the estimat...

C27074Tyre Integrity Monitoring

Driving mine trucks with underinflated and overloaded tyres subjects...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C6046Optimising Coal Fragmentation For Improved Recovery

Uncontrolled fragmentation, in particular that resulting in the gene...

C25019Adaptation Of Coal Grain Analysis To Improve Flotation Yield Estimation

This project involved sampling of full-scale flotation circuits at ...

C27033Comprehensive Flotation Model Using CGA Particle Surface Composition

The aim of this project was to adapt existing particle based flotat...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C27036Improved Understanding Of Coke Quality Using 3D Immersive Visualisation And Statistical Characterisation Of Microstructure Properties

This project carried out an explorative study into the use of a 3D v...

C27047Combustion Characteristics Of Australian Export Thermal Coal Using Advanced Imaging Techniques

During pulverised fuel combustion, coal particles are rapidly pyroly...

C25045Assessment Of In Situ High Temperature Strength Of Cokes

The research for this project was undertaken in three stages.

S...

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

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