Improved Face Ventilation for Extended-Cut Continuous Mining Using a Wing Regulator and Scrubber Control System

Grants and Contracts Details


Face ventilation supplements the main ventilation system of continuous-mining operations by redirecting airflow from the last open crosscut to dead-end working places where coal extraction occurs. The primary intent of this airflow is to dilute methane liberated at the face to well below its explosive range of approximately 5-15% and to dilute the respirable-dust exposure for the continuous-miner operator to 2.0 mg/m3 or less. (With the newly promulgated regulations this dust standard will be reduced to 1.5 mg/m3.) As stated in the solicitation, “there is strong evidence to suggest that some fundamental aspects of ventilation and dust control are inadequately understood or improperly managed.” The relevant specific aims for this project are to improve methane dilution at the immediate working face, thereby reducing the chances for ignition, and to lower the respirable-dust-exposure levels for continuous-miner and shuttle-car operators. In the process, a better understanding of the complex airflows associated with face ventilation will be obtained. The proposed project seeks to evaluate the ability of a wing regulator, developed at the University of Kentucky, to improve methane dilution at the immediate face area and reduce the dust rollback to the continuous-miner and shuttle-car operators during deep cut mining. This will be tested in conjunction with the controls in place on a continuous-miner, such as the scrubber, in a physical model of the equipment. This will allow the optimum configuration to be determined.
Effective start/end date10/1/151/31/19


  • Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health Incorporated: $673,073.00


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