Estimate of technically feasible DPM levels for underground metal and nonmetal mines
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 2002
In response to the underground mining industry's growing concern with the exposure of workers to the diesel particulate matter (DPM) component of diesel exhaust, a method was developed to estimate the average workplace concentration of DPM that could be expected from using the new lower DPMemitting engines now being approved by the US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) when these new engines are equipped with state-of-the-art exhaustcontrol technology for filtering and combusting DPM. The resulting estimate uses the MSHA-reported particulate index for these engines, the prevailing rule-of-thumb ventilation rate of 150 cfm/hp and the available diesel-exhaust filter technology that has been shown to be at least 80% effective in reducing tailpipe DPM. In the estimate calculation, every engine used in an underground mine is assumed to be equipped with this control technology. Under the stated reasonable conditions, an average DPM level of 90 µg/m3 (mass) is predicted as technically feasible.