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Reducing float coal dust: Field evaluation of an inline auxiliary fan scrubber

Mining Engineering , 2016, Vol. 68, No. 12, pp. 63-68

Patts, J.R.; Colinet, J.F.; Janisko, S.J.; Barone, T.L.; Patts, L.D.



Controlling float coal dust in underground coal mines before dispersal into the general airstream can reduce the risk of mine explosions while potentially achieving a more effective and efficient use of rock dust. A prototype flooded-bed scrubber was evaluated for float coal dust control in the return of a continuous miner section. The scrubber was installed inline between the face ventilation tubing and an exhausting auxiliary fan. Airborne and deposited dust mass measurements were collected over three days at set distances from the fan exhaust to assess changes in float coal dust levels in the return due to operation of the scrubber. Mass-based measurements were collected on a per-cut basis and normalized on the basis of per ton mined by the continuous miner. The results show that average float coal dust levels measured under baseline conditions were reduced by more than 90 percent when operating the scrubber.