Comparison of diesel exhaust emissions from two types of engines used underground and the identification of engines needing maintenance to control emissions

Johnson, J. H. ; Carlson, D. H. ; Renders, C. F.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 18
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
Introduction Diesel-powered vehicles are used extensively in underground mines throughout North America. The bulk of the diesel vehicles found in underground mining operations are used for loading and ore haulage, as well as for transportation of personnel and supplies. Along with the advantages of using diesels underground is the disadvantage associated with diesel-tailpipe particulate-matter emissions (DPM). The concentration of DPM in the ambient air of US underground metal mines is not now regulated by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). However, recent studies have shown DPM to be mutagenic (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, 1988), and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has recommended that the exposures of per¬sonnel to DPM be limited to an 8-hr time-weighted average concentration (threshold limit value or TLV) of 0.15 mg/m3 (Anon., 1995). The authors, while making measurements in a number of US underground mines that use diesel haulage equipment, found mine air DPM concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 2.36 Mg/M3 (McCawley and Cocalis, 1986; Watts et al., 1989; Cantrell et al., 1991; Haney, 1992; US Bureau of Mines, 1992; Watts, 1992; Watts et al., 1995). If the proposed DPM TLV were to be adopted as a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for US underground mines, the proposed limit of 0.15 mg/m3 PEL would be lower than any of the concentrations measured in the earlier studies and would represent more than a 15-fold reduction from the maximum 2.36 mg/m3 concentration. A 0.15 mg/m3 PEL would also represent a 4.5-fold reduction from the average 0.68 mg/m3 measured mine ambient air DPM concentration reported in this paper. Other diesel tailpipe emissions that are now regulated underground include carbon monoxide (CO), with a PEL of 50 ppm; nitrogen dioxide (NO,), with a PEL of 5 ppm; nitric oxide (NO), with a PEL of 25 ppm; and sulfur dioxide (SO,) with a PEL of 5 ppm. Because the concentrations of these gaseous pollutants and DPM are affected by the state-of-maintenance (Waytulonis,1992), it is important that a means be developed to measure emissions from engines that are now in service to determine when maintenance is needed. The current study was the result of an inquiry by mine¬maintenance personnel who had been receiving complaints about high concentrations of diesel soot (DPM) in mine headings from load-haul-dump (LHD) vehicle operators. Mine-maintenance personnel were searching for an objective test to determine if the diesel tailpipe particulate emitted was excessive. The mine was also evaluating electronically controlled, two-cycle, naturally aspirated, direct-injection diesel engines on some of their JCI (John-Clark Inc.) load-haul-dump (LHD) vehicles. These LHD vehicles were used to haul freshly blasted ore from mine headings to a feeder breaker. The feeder breaker breaks down the larger chunks and feeds the broken ore onto a conveyor. Michigan Technological University, in past studies, developed an emissions-measurement apparatus (EMA) ca¬pable of measuring diesel vehicle tailpipe pollutant concentrations (Chan et al., 1992; Chan et al., 1993; Carlson et al., 1994). At the time of the study reported here, most of the mine's LHD vehicles used a 12-cylinder, four-cycle, naturally aspirated prechamber diesel engine. The study was undertaken in cooperation with mine maintenance supervisors from late 1992 through July 1993. The objectives were to compare diesel exhaust emissions between the 6-cylinder, two-cycle, electronically controlled, direct-injected diesel engine and the 12-cylinder, four-cycle, prechamber diesel engine and to, then, use the data collected, in conjunction with mine ambient air measurements, to demonstrate the application of the "deterioration factor" (Chan et al., 1992), which is a measure of the state-of-maintenance of mine-vehicle engines that are now in service. The information would be used to identify vehicles that need maintenance to reduce emissions. The data reported here are unique in the sense that they combine underground diesel vehicle ambient and tailpipe
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