Reduction of Dust in the Longwall Faces of Coal Mines

Anton V. Kornev, Gennady I. Korshunov, Dušan Kudelas

Reduction of Dust in the Longwall Faces of Coal Mines

Číslo: 1/2021
Periodikum: Acta Montanistica Slovaca
DOI: 10.46544/AMS.v26i1.07

Klíčová slova: Underground coal mining, longwalls, dustiness, pneumoconiosis, aerosol dispersed composition, dust control, forecast of dust conditions, complex dedusting measures, dust wettability.

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Anotace: Despite the increasing reliance on alternative and renewable energy

sources in recent years, coal is set to continue being the most vital
element of the global energy sector. The world coal supply (1,070
billion tons) shall last for 130 years with the current mining levels. In
contrast to some large countries (such as the USA and Germany)
reducing their coal production and consumption, Russia plans to
increase the coal production levels as part of its strategy regarding
the future of the coal mining industry. The annual volume of coal
output is more than 440 million tons, 1/3 of which is extracted
underground. The current and projected levels of underground coal
mining present a set of issues pertaining to elevated dust
concentration in the air and increased dust dispersion. High dust
concentration in the air leads to damage to the skin, mucous
membranes and respiratory organs of workers. Also, with high dust
content, visibility in the longwalls decreases, the risk of injury and
accidents increases.
The present article deals with the formation of detrimental dust
conditions that happen in the course of cleaning and preparatory
mining operations in coal mines. The article reviews the international
practices on dust reduction in coal mining operations and provides an
overview of studies on dustiness levels and airborne dust composition
in longwall faces of coal mines. It also presents mathematical models
dealing with projections on dust composition, including projections
on most hazardous dust particles the size of 0.1-10 and 0.1-35 μm.
The article also presents a newly developed wetting method showing
increased effectiveness.