TRACER GAS MEASUREMENTS OF EFFECTIVE VENTILATION AIRFLOW AND ITS INFLUENCE ON DUST CONCENTRATIONS IN AN UNDERGROUND QUARRY

World Mining Congress
Ventilation measurements were carried out in a shallow underground-quarry space with relatively large internal volume of 14,600 m3 in order to evaluate its effective ventilation characteristics. Based on air velocity measurements with an ultrasonic anemometer in the exhaust airway connected to the space, it was found that the space was ventilated by natural ventilation airflow with intermittent changes in direction. It was difficult to measure the ventilation flow with typical methods of flow measurement provided from the intake portal and throughout the mine, because the cross-sectional area and volume of the openings were too large and the flow was variable. In the present study, a tracer gas method was applied to evaluate the effective ventilation airflow rate in the space. A photo-acoustic infra-red gas monitor, highly sensitive to SF6 gas used as a tracer gas, was set in the space to determine air exchange rates from gas concentration-time decay curves. The seasonal variations of airflow and thermal environment in the space were investigated through 13 sets of measurements taken over 15 months. Airborne rock dust concentrations were also measured at same time in the opening.
Keywords: Air; Ventilation; Quarry; Temperature; Underground; Rocks; Rock; Dust concentrations; flow;
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