Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mining Engineering (MSMIE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mining Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Steven Schafrik


Dust is ubiquitous in underground mine activities. Continuous inhalation of dust could lead to irreversible occupational diseases. Dust particles of size lower than 75.0 µm, also known as float coal dust, can trigger a coal dust explosion following a methane ignition. Ventilation air carries the float coal dust from the point of production to some distance before it’s deposited on the surfaces of underground coal mine. Sources of dust are widely studied, but study of dust transportation has been mainly based on experimental data and simplified models. An understanding of dust transportation in the mine airways is instrumental in the implementation of local dust control strategies.

This thesis presents techniques for sampling float coal dust, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis, and mathematical modeling to estimate average dust deposition in an underground coal mine. Dust samples were taken from roof, ribs, and floor at multiple areas along single air splits from longwall and room and pillar mines. Thermogravimetric analysis of these samples showed no conclusive trends in float coal dust deposition rate with location and origin of dust source within the mine network. CFD models were developed using the Lagrangian particle tracking approach to model dust transportation in reduced scale model of mine. Three dimensional CFD analysis showed random deposition pattern of particle on the mine model floor. A pseudo 2D model was generated to approximate the distance dust particles travel when released from a 7 ft. high coal seam. The models showed that lighter particles released in a high airflow field travel farthest. NIOSH developed MFIRE software was adopted to simulate dust transportation in a mine airway analogous to fume migration. The simulations from MFIRE can be calibrated using the dust sampling results to estimate dust transportation in the ventilation network.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

I acknowledge the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for funding this research via the contract 200-2014-59922, “Coal Mine Dust Mitigation Through Novel Scrubber Development and Numerical Modeling.”