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A preliminary evaluation of potential perfluoromethylcyclohexane release vessel designs for tracer gas studies in underground mines

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2015, Vol. 338, No. 1, pp. 417-422

Jong, E.C.; Luxbacher, K.D.


Perfluoromethylcyclohexane (PMCH), a member  of the perfluorocarbon tracer group of compounds, has been shown  to be a viable supplement to the widely  used  tracer gas sulfur  hexafluoride   (SF6). This  viability  stems from  the fact that PMCH can be used concurrently with SF6  while maintaining adequate chromatographic separation and comparable  sensitivity during analysis. However, the release of PMCH in an underground mine ventilation system is challenging due to its physical characteristics. While SF6 exists as a gas at room temperature and pressure and can be accurately released by a variety of means, PMCH exists as a volatile liquid at room temperature and pressure, preventing it from being deployed in a similar manner. One method to release PMCH is to use a permeation plug passive release vessel (PPRV), which allows for the controlled  release of the gas. This paper presents the results of a study evaluating various preparation techniques, plug thicknesses and plug materials of an aluminum-vessel PMCH release source, so that a source appropriate for the mine scale may be developed.