Suppression of Longwall Respirable Dust Using Conventional Water Sprays Inoculated With Surfactants and Polymers
Description:The U.S. Bureau of Mines is evaluating water spray additives for the purpose of improving respirable dust control during coal mining operations, with particular emphasis on the longwall shearer. Recent field tests of surfactant-polymer reagents at two production longwall operations have shown favorable respirable dust reductions compared with water sprays containing no additive. Gravimetric dust samples obtained by a technician downwind of the shearer while following or preceding the machine showed dust reductions in the range of about 40% to 60% for some of the reagent formulations compared with using water alone. Three polymers were tested: two polyethylene oxide compounds of different molecular weight and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC). All were effective for dust reduction, and two were cost effective when used in combination with sodium di(2-ethylhexyl) sulfosuccinate surfactant. How-ever, the use of these reagents requires the longwall operator to be more aware of headgate dust control. Experimental evidence indicates that dust captured by reagent-treated sprays at the shearer can be reemitted in the headgate area if stagcloader-crusher sprays and other dust controls are inadequate.
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