Coal dust and methane
Description:In the USA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) does a lot of work and has provided news of interesting new developments. Marcia L. Harris describes an Explosibility Meter: In underground mines, coal dust explosions are prevented by the addition of rock dust sufficient to render the coal dust inert. Federal [US] regulations require 65% and 80% incombustible content in samples taken in intake airways and return airways, respectively, assuming a nominal coal dust size of 20% minus 200 mesh. The Coal Dust Explosibility Meter (CDEM), a hand-held instrument developed by NIOSH uses optical reflectance to measure the explosibility of a rock dust and coal dust mixture. The CDEM is now commercially available. It provides real-time results during rock dust surveys instead of waiting weeks for laboratory results1. With real-time results, the potential for a disaster can be mitigated immediately. The CDEM displays the percent incombustible content as well as a colour indicating the relative explosibility of the coal and rock dust mixture. A red read-out indicates that more incombustible material is required to inert the coal and rock dust sample, while a green read-out indicates that the dust sample is sufficiently inert. When the mixture is marginally explosible, a yellow read-out is indicated. The red-yellow-green output depends upon the particle size distribution of the rock and coal dust mixture with the finer size fraction being more explosible.
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