The Effectiveness of Selected Technologies in Controlling Diesel Emissions in an Underground Mine: Isolated Zone Study at Stillwater Mining Company's Nye Mine
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The Effectiveness of Selected Technologies in Controlling Diesel Emissions in an Underground Mine: Isolated Zone Study at Stillwater Mining Company's Nye Mine

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  • Description:
    This study is organized under the auspices of the Metal/Nonmetal Diesel Partnership formed by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Mining Association (NMA), the National Stone Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA), the United Steel Workers of America (USWA) and the MARG Diesel Coalition. The ultimate objective of the study is to reduce the exposure of underground miners to diesel particulate matter (DPM) and gases, and to help in fulfilling the partnership’s goal of identifying technically and economically feasible controls to curtail particulate matter emissions from existing and new diesel powered vehicles in underground metal and nonmetal mines. The majority of current knowledge on the performance of the diesel particulate filter (DPF) systems and other control technologies is based on studies done under laboratory conditions, the results then being applied the results to on-highway vehicles. According to the best knowledge of the authors, only two comprehensive studies that were conducted recently at Noranda’s Bathurst Mining and Smelting Mine and International Nickel Company’s Stobie Mine under the sponsorship of the Diesel Emissions Evaluation Program [McGinn 2001, Bugarski and Schnakenberg 2001, Bugarski and Schnakenberg 2002] offered some insight into the problems associated with the deployment of modern DPFs to underground mining vehicles. The U.S. mining industry has expressed concern that this rather limited knowledge base is not sufficient to help them comply with the rule limiting DPM exposure of underground metal and nonmetal miners [30 CFR 57.5060 2001]. The partnership agreed that a series of comprehensive field evaluations of DPFs in several underground mines was needed to determine their viability of DPF systems and establish confidence in their performance. The first in this series of studies was the one conducted in Stillwater Mining Company’s Nye Mine, Nye, Montana. This study was conducted in two phases. The objective of the first phase was to establish the effectiveness of the selected technologies in reducing diesel emissions by using an isolated zone methodology. The objective of the second phase was to assess the effectiveness of diesel particulate filters in controlling the exposure of underground miners in actual production scenarios. As part of the first phase of the study a series of tests were conducted at Nye Mine from May 19, 2003 until May 30, 2003. The results of Phase I of the study are presented in this report.
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