Mines use large ventilation systems to maintain a safe and healthy environment for miners. Dilution of diesel particulate matter (DPM) is often a key factor used to determine the required quantities of ventilation air. DPM emissions and exposure levels are highly variable depending on mine schedules and activities. Due to lacking technology to continuously monitor levels, mine ventilation systems are often over-designed.
As mines go deeper it becomes more difficult to supply air, and the development of new shafts for air is not economically feasible. Cleaning and reuse of available air then becomes an attractive option to maintain good air quality. In such cases it is important to determine how efficient the air cleaning is.
Understanding the range and timing of DPM concentrations as related to mine schedules and activities may enable new ventilation-on-demand fan-and-filtration devices to be intelligently used to maintain safe and healthy work conditions while reducing ventilation costs.