Year of Publication

2019

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mining Engineering (MSMIE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Mining Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Steven Schafrik

Abstract

Dust creates health and safety issues in mining and there are several different ways to reduce the amount of respirable dust created. Dust particles also affect the operation and efficiency of mining equipment. One device currently used to reduce dust in a coal mine is a flooded-bed dust scrubber. These type of scrubbers are found on continuous miners and are designed to capture dust particles close to the cutting head. However, the fibrous screens on the flooded-bed dust scrubber clog easily reducing both production and the quality and quantity of air miners are exposed too. The flooded-bed dust scrubber was designed in the 1980s and has not seen any significant changes since. A Vortecone is a wet scrubber system designed to capture small particles in the air and can easily replace the flooded-bed dust scrubber system on a continuous miner. The Vortecone was initially developed to capture over-sprayed paint particles and due to the capture ability was converted over into the mining industry. The first design of the Vortecone had two outlets and a large pressure drop across the system. The Vortecone was redesigned to have one outlet in order to increase confinement time of particles and thus increase the capture abilities. Using CFD analysis and laboratory testing, the redesigned Vortecone has been proven to have a lower resistance than the original design as well as the currently used convention screens. The Vortecone also proved to have a high capture efficiency at high airflows. This maintenance-free wet scrubber device requires much less maintenance than a conventional screen and thus can be used continually without interrupting production. The Vortecone has been designed so it can easily be mounted onto a continuous miner in place of the currently used scrubbers.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2019.216

Funding Information

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) contract no. 200-2014-59922.

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