Surfactant-Aided Coal Dust Suppression: A Review of Evaluation Methods and Influencing Factors


There is an increasing trend in the occurrence of coal worker's pneumoconiosis even in developed countries such as the US and Australia who have believed such an issue have been well controlled in the past. Water spray is one of the most commonly applied methods for underground coal mines dust control, and research have shown the dust suppression efficiency can be greatly improved by adding surfactants. However, the literature appears to show inconsistent results that do not provide the coal mining industry with a clearly effective solution. The breakthrough in this field relies on the achievements in prior work, but an up-to-date critical review was not found. By critically reviewing prior studies, this paper highlights the advances in the surfactant-aided coal dust suppression technology. Firstly, the surfactant chemical structure, surfactant type and mechanism of surfactant adsorption were explained. Secondly, the commonly used surfactant efficiency evaluation methods were described. This is important for producing comparable and reproducible results. After that, key aspects of the influencing factors were discussed, which are essential for developing effective and robust dust suppression products. In the discussion on the challenges and further research directions, we suggest more focus should be on the dynamic interaction between the coal particle and water droplet in wind tunnels or well controlled onsite conditions.


Mining Engineering


This project is supported by the Independent Research Projects of State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining, CUMT (SKLCRSM15KF01).

Keywords and Phrases

Coal; Coal industry; Coal mines; Efficiency; Surface active agents; Wind tunnels; Coal mining industry; Coal wettability; Developed countries; Dust suppression; Dynamic interaction; Surfactant adsorption; Surfactant efficiency; Underground coal mine; Coal dust; Coal; Surfactant; Adsorption; Coal mine; Dust; Respiratory disease; Surfactant; Wettability; Wind tunnel; Adsorption; Chemical parameters; Chemical procedures; Chemical structure; Coal wettability test; Concentration (parameters); Dust; Dynamics; Factor analysis; Field test; Laboratory test; Laboratory wind tunnel test; Lung disease; Mathematical computing; Particle size; Prevalence; Priority journal; Reproducibility; Review; Surfactant adsorption test; Technology; Wind; Australia; United States; Coal dust suppression; Coal wettability; Coal worker's pneumoconiosis; Surfactant; Wind tunnel

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0048-9697; 1879-1026

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2018 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2018