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TitleThe use of a portable aerosol counting system to characterize dust clouds and evaluate control methods in underground metal mines
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorHardcastle, S G; Grenier, M G; Bigu, J; Knight, G
SourceCanada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology, Mining Research Laboratories, Division Report 88-1 (OPJ), 1988, 6 pages Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherCanada Department of Mines and Technical Surveys
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Released1988 01 01; 2020 04 22
AbstractRespirable particulate control is a major concern in underground mining and the subject of continuing research world wide. In Canada the federal government's Mining Research Laboratory at Elliot Lake, Ontario, has been using two aerosol counters to aid its investigations. Specific studies with the units include: a) evaluating total and elemental size efficiencies of dust filtration units; b) characterizing the dust particulate cloud from different mining operations; and c) determining dust transportation characteristics. The particle counters employed are modified HIAC/ROYCO 4102 near forward light scattering units, which count particles greater than 0.5 gm diameter into six threshold size ranges. The dynamic measuring range of the particle counters is 20:1. The units. originally designed for laboratory use, were customized for the underground operating environment. The counters are now portable and have an optional computer controller and data logging facility which is PC compatible and allows stored data to be readily installed in an electronic spreadsheet. The instruments have been used to characterize the dust clouds by size and their electrical charge distribution. Investigation sites have included crushing operations, mucking, activities at an °repass. and along a conveyor drivage. From these operations the mean optical mass diameter of the dust clouds varied from 0.7 to 3.9 gm with geometric standard deviations of 2.6 and 2.1 respectively. depending on the operation. In the evaluation of two wet dust collectors, the particle counter indicated that the collector or filter was only 40 to 50% efficient at removing particulate in the 0.5 to 1.5 gm diameter range. Then the collection efficiency rapidly increased and generally exceeded 90% for particles greater than 2.0 gm diameter. The overall mass efficiency of the two wet collectors, as determined with the particle counters, varied from 84 to 92% and is dependent on the mass distribution by size of the dust cloud entering the collector. The particle counters have provided real-time information on dust concentrations and production. This includes peak values and time weighted averages. The units have also shown the effectiveness of ventilation and/or control mechanism in rapidly removing and/or diluting high dust concentrations. During the studies using the particle counters, concurrent measurements were made with gravimeteric time-weighted average samplers and cascade samplers. Where applicable, the results from the aerosol counters have been compared with the more conventional instruments.

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