Some Questions of Interest in Real-Time DPM Ambient Monitoring in Underground Mines


Mine equipment Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) pollution is currently a matter of concern in many underground mines worldwide. a number of real-time DPM monitors has been developed in recent years that enable us to understand better the sources and levels of DPM pollution in underground activities through engineering evaluations to determine how conditions can be improved or mining personnel relocated to lower concentration levels. Studies are discussed that examine DPM concentration from vehicles under varying ventilation conditions. Modem large mines may have tens or even hundreds of diesel powered vehicles in use at any time. Real-time monitoring readily allows engineering evaluation exercises to be undertaken which can usefully reflect the fast changing mine environment and the movement of individual diesel vehicles. an initiative in some mines has been taken to limit the number of vehicles in the mining section or panel by the use of a Tag Board or Traffic Controller at the panel travel road entrance to manage exhaust DPM and gases. Diesel tags or tokens are used to control a number of vehicles entering a section or panel and so as to limit the level of pollution. Summation of DPM levels from points monitored throughout a panel demonstrates increasing DPM levels from influence of additional equipment in series within the ventilation circuit. an alternative approach is to invest in underground continuous real-time monitoring of exhaust gases, DPM and section air quantity and integrate this information to determine whether an additional vehicle can enter without exceeding diesel target limit. This approach optimizes the access of diesel vehicles and replaces the existing manual tag board system. Real-time DPM monitoring allows the industry to pin-point high exposure zones such as those encountered where various vehicles work in areas of constrained or difficult ventilation. Identification of high DPM zones allows efficient modification of mine ventilation, operator positioning and other work practices to reduce underground miners' exposure.


Mining Engineering


Australian Coal Association Research Program
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Keywords and Phrases

DPM; DPM Monitors; Diesel Particulate Matter

Document Type

Book - Chapter

Document Version


File Type





© 2011 Wydawnictwa AGH, Krakow, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2011

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