Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.
Transactions home

  SME FaceBook SME Twitter SME LinkedIn RSS Feed

The effectiveness of several enclosed cab filters and systems for reducing diesel particulate matter

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2011, Vol. 330, No. 1, pp. 408-415

Noll, J.D.; Cecala, A.; Organiscak, J.A.


 Many underground metal/nonmetal mines are using enclosed cabs on mining equipment to reduce the exposure of miners to diesel particulate matter (DPM). However, some enclosed cab systems may not be meeting their expected efficiency in capturing DPM, which could be a result of inappropriate filter use, cab leaks or insufficient pressurization. NIOSH investigated several types of filters for reducing DPM to determine which type had the best capture efficiency. The laboratory results indicated that a MERV 8 (minimum efficiency reporting value, as defined by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air- Conditioning Engineers) filter captured about 50% of the DPM, a MERV 16 filter collected 96-98% of the DPM and two HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) grade filters captured over 99% of the DPM. NIOSH also performed a field study to measure the efficiency of two cabs at a limestone mine. The cab filtration systems of a loader and haul truck were found to be over 90% effective in removing DPM, except under certain operating conditions when the efficiency was as low as 41%. A possible reason for the low efficiencies is an open window in the cab, but more studies need performed to obtain a better understanding of the cause and solution of the problem.