Document Type : Case Study


School of Civil, Mining, and Environmental engineering, University of Wollongong, Australia


Diesel-operated Load Haul Dumper (LHD) vehicles are commonly used in underground coal mines. Despite their value as utility vehicles, the main drawback of these vehicles is that they generate diesel particulate matter (DPM), a known carcinogenic agent. In this work, an attempt is made to model DPM flows generated by LHDs in an underground coal mine environment for different DPM flow and intake air flow directions. The field experiments are conducted and used to validate the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models and used to map the DPM flow patterns. The results obtained show that if DPM and the intake air co-flow (flow in the same direction), DPM is confined predominantly in the middle of the roadway. To the contrary, if the DPM and intake air counter-flow (flow in the opposite directions), the DPM spread occurs throughout the entire cross-section of the roadway. In the latter case, the operator will be more susceptible to exposure to high concentrations of DPM. Overall, the DPM concentration decreases with an increase in the intake air velocities. For co-flow for intake air velocities of 2 m/s, 3 m/s, and 4 m/s, the DPM concentrations at 50 m downstream of the vehicles are 39 µg/m3, 23 µg/m3, and 19 µg/ m3, respectively. The DPM concentration is also influenced by the DPM temperature at the source. For the DPM temperatures of 30 oC, 40 oC, 50 oC, and 60 oC, the DPM concentrations at 50 m downstream of the source are 43 µg/m3, 34 µg/m3, 12 µg/m3, and 9 µg/m3, respectively.