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Comparison of the CAS-POL and IOM samplers for determining the knockdown efficiencies of water sprays on float coal dust
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  • Alternative Title:
    J Occup Environ Hyg
  • Description:
    Float coal dust, generated by mining operations, is distributed throughout mine airways by ventilating air designed to purge gases and respirable dust. Float coal dust poses an explosion hazard in the event of a methane ignition. Current regulation requires the application of inert rock dust in areas subjected to float coal dust in order to mitigate the hazard. An alternate method using water sprays, which have been effective in controlling respirable dust hazards, has been proposed as a way to control float coal dust generated on longwall faces. However, the knockdown efficiency of the proposed water sprays on float coal dust needs to be verified. This study used gravimetric isokinetic Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) samplers alongside a real-time aerosol monitor (Cloud Aerosol Spectrometer with polarization; CAS-POL) to study the effects of spray type, operating pressure, and spray orientation on knockdown efficiencies for seven different water sprays. Because the CAS-POL has not been used to study mining dust, the CAS-POL measurements were validated with respect to the IOM samplers. This study found that the CAS-POL was able to resolve the same trends measured by the IOM samplers, while providing additional knockdown information for specific particle size ranges and locations in the test area. In addition, the CAS-POL data was not prone to the same process errors, which may occur due to the handling of the IOM filter media, and was able to provide a faster analysis of the data after testing. This study also determined that pressure was the leading design criteria influencing spray knockdown efficiency, with spray type also having some effect and orientation having little to no effect. The results of this study will be used to design future full-scale float coal dust capture tests involving multiple sprays, which will be evaluated using the CAS-POL.

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