Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mining Engineering (MSMIE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Mining Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Novak

Abstract

Dust is a detrimental, but unavoidable, consequence of any mining process. It is particularly problematic in underground coal mining, where respirable coal dust poses the potential health risk of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP). Float dust, if not adequately diluted with rock dust, also creates the potential for a dust explosion initiated by a methane ignition. Furthermore, recently promulgated dust regulations for lowering a miner’s exposure to respirable coal dust will soon call for dramatic improvements in dust suppression and capture.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) results are presented for a research project with the primary goal of applying a flooded-bed dust scrubber, with high capture and cleaning efficiencies, to a Joy 7LS longwall shearer operating in a 7-ft (2.1 m) coal seam. CFD software, Cradle is used to analyze and evaluate airflow patterns and dust concentrations, under various arrangements and conditions, around the active mining zone of the shearer for maximizing the capture efficiency of the scrubber.

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