Secondary Explosion Hazards During Blasting In Oil Shale And Sulfide Ore Mines - RI 9632
Description:The data presented in this report are the results, to date, of an ongoing Pittsburgh Research Center Disaster5Prevention research program on the explosion hazards associated with blasting operations in noncoal mines. Laboratory and experimental mine tests have shown that oil shale and sulfide ore dusts can be ignited given the proper predispersed dust concentrations, particle size, and kerogen or sulfur content. Methane (CH) gas may also4be present in deep oil shale formations and can pose a significant added hazard to underground blasting operations. The most common explosive used for blasting in oil shale had been ANFO, a combination of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil; blasting in sulfide ore had used ANFO and/or dynamites. Tests conducted at the cannon gallery at Lake Lynn Laboratory near Fair chance, Fayette County, PA, provided a means of evaluating the relative incendivity characteristics of new and existing explosive products. Three explosives—a pumpable emulsion-ANFO blend, a packaged water gel, and an emulsion blasting agent—exhibited low-incendive qualities compared with other more highly incendive products such as ANFO and some dynamites. Based on the data collected during numerous full-scale blasts in oil shale and sulfide ore mines, the low-incendive products significantly reduced or eliminated the ignition hazards while at the same time providing effective fragmentation of the rock. Based on the positive results from the gallery and field testing, low-incendive explosives, coupled with good blasting procedures, show promise in reducing dust and/or gas ignitions associated with blasting operations in oil shale and sulfide ore mining applications.
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