Review and analysis of energy consumptions and carbon emission in underground haulage

CIM Montreal 2015
Bhargav Bharathan (McGill University), Agus Pulung Sasmito (McGill University)
Diesel, the predominant power source for haulage in underground mines is considered to be carcinogenic for its hazardous particulate exhaust – especially at high concentration. Filtering and ventilating the diesel exhaust is used in practice; despite being effective, however, it poses a higher initial and operating investment. The ideal fuel expenditure on diesel-powered haulage is about 35% of the revenue, but this increases with the rise of diesel price, adverse haul roads, increased idling time, over loading, ill-maintained vehicles and incompetent operators. There is thus a need to seek for cleaner alternatives to replace diesel and dependency from fossil fuel with regard to the energy savings and carbon footprint reduction.
The objective of this study is to (i) establish a mathematical model to simulate energy consumption behavior of underground haulage powered by diesel, natural gas and electricity; (ii) compare the energy consumptions with respect to cost and carbon emission. The study is based on six mines with varied production capacities and haulage ranges. Moreover, conveyors, electric hoists and railveyors are analyzed as alternatives in applications where truck haulage is less desirable.

The results suggest that potential savings of ~25% in fuel expenses, significant improvement in air quality as well as reduction in ventilation airflow requirement is achieved by switching from diesel to natural gas vehicles. This can assist mining professionals in making decisions based on environmental impacts and emission standards and at the same time not compromising on quality and financial liability.
Keywords: haulage, energy efficiency, emission, carbon reduction, diesel, underground
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