Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mining Engineering (MSMIE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mining Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. William C. Wedding


Increasing incidence of Black Lung disease in miners since the early 1990s has concerned law makers and the mining industry. New regulations promulgated by MSHA in 2014 lowered the permissible limit of dust exposure of underground workers. The hazards of respirable coal dust have been common knowledge throughout the mining industry since the enactment of the 1969 Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, and many administrative controls have been put in place since its enactment.

The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the performance of a Vortecone scrubber, used in the automotive industry to remove paint overspray from the air, for removing coal dust with an emphasis on respirable coal dust. Comparisons are made to a very effective scrubbing technology already in use in many underground coal mines, a flooded-bed scrubber system. This system is typically mounted on a continuous miner, and used to scrub contaminated air of unwanted particulate matter. Per the results of this study, a Vortecone appears to remove a greater amount of respirable dust from an airstream than a flooded-bed scrubber, and carries with it several operational advantages which are discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)