Improved Ventilation and Use of Respirators to Allow Safe Mining during Release of Coal Seam Hydrogen Sulphide


Hydrogen Sulphide (H₂S) has been encountered within a number of Bowen Basin collieries, Central Queensland, Australia. High concentration occurrence during mining of a longwall panel raises a number of potential problems which demand greater understanding to allow efficient mining while maintaining safe and healthy environmental conditions. Mine ventilation approaches to allow safe working through control of the mine atmosphere and use of respirator filters are described. Computer ventilation network simulation models of the various alternative ventilation approaches with H₂S variations are developed, fan capacity examined and alternatives costed. Filters represent a cost-effective and safe way (in the short term) for miners to work in a potentially lethal environment. A series of laboratory tests were undertaken under conditions simulated to represent the mine H₂S laden atmosphere in order to establish safe operating limits for some filter types available. It was demonstrated that the cartridge type filters far exceeded their assumed life and the Racal EP3 combination type filter can be used in conjunction with other filters on the Racal turbo unit for a conservatively estimated total of nine 8 hour shifts.

Meeting Name

11th U.S./North American Mine Ventilation Symposium (2006: Jun. 5-7, University Park, PA)


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Australia; Hydrogen Sulphide; Mines; Ventilation

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type




Publication Date

07 Jun 2006

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