Effects of Diesel Exhaust Aftertreatment Devices on Concentrations and Size Distribution of Aerosols in Underground Mine Air
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Effects of Diesel Exhaust Aftertreatment Devices on Concentrations and Size Distribution of Aerosols in Underground Mine Air

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    Three types of uncatalyzed diesel particulate filter (DPF) systems, three types of high-temperature disposable filter elements (DFEs), and one diesel oxidation catalytic converter (DOC) were evaluated in underground mine conditions for their effects on the concentrations and size distributions of diesel aerosols. Those effects were compared with the effects of a standard muffler. The experimental work was conducted directly in an underground environment using a unique diesel laboratory developed in an underground experimental mine. The DPF systems reduced total mass of aerosols in the mine air approximately 10-fold for light-load and 20-fold or more for high-load test conditions. The DFEs offered similar reductions in aerosol mass concentrations. The efficiency of the new DFEs significantly increased with accumulation of operating time and buildup of diesel particulate matter in the porous structure of the filter elements. A single laundering process did not exhibit substantial effects on performance of the filter element. The effectiveness of DPFs and DFEs in removing aerosols by number was strongly influenced by engine operating mode. The concentrations of nucleation mode aerosols in the mine air were found to be substantially higher for both DPFs and DFEs when the engine was operated at high-load modes than at low-load modes. The effects of the DOC on mass and number concentrations of aerosols in mine air were relatively minor when compared to those of the DPF and DFE systems.
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