Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0414-5744

Year of Publication

2021

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mining Engineering (MSMIE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Engineering

Department/School/Program

Mining Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Steven Schafrik

Abstract

Dust produced during mining activities has a detrimental effect on both miners’ health and operations’ safety. There is no definitive treatment for coal miners’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), which is caused by prolonged inhalation of respirable dust. Elevated coal dust concentrations have also been shown to cause several disastrous explosions in the United States and worldwide, resulting in the death of miners and loss of operations. Flooded-bed dust scrubbers are used on all modern-day continuous miners. These devices cleanse the dust-laden air and assist in bringing fresh air towards the mining face. Scrubbers use a multi-layered fibrous screen to capture airborne particles. These systems direct the dust-laden air towards the fibrous screen mounted upstream of a water spray. These screens capture dust on the finely woven surface. Prolonged scrubber operations lead to dust accumulation, which can result in filter clogging. This increases the pressure-drop across the screen and causes a lowered airflow through the scrubber. Reduced capture efficiency of the scrubber may lead to an enhanced exposure of the miners nearby.

This thesis presents the design of three full-scale non-clogging, maintenance-free impingement type screens. The findings of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling, laboratory studies using coal, and rock (limestone) dust to determine cleaning efficiency are presented. In-mine tests were conducted to examine the performance of each screen using limestone dust as an aerosol. The newly designed impingement screens outperform the conventional fibrous screen at all airflows between 4,000 and 8,000; therefore, they may be a potential replacement for the fibrous screen.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2021.423

Funding Information

This Study was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Grant (no.: 75D30119C06228) in 2019.

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