Developments in Real Time Personal Diesel Particulate Monitoring in Mines


Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) issues are very high profile currently in both Australian coal and metal mines and Australian states are generally moving to acknowledge and to broadly follow US 2008 final metal/non metal mine regulation limits of 0.2 mg/m³ submicron particulate matter, 0.16 mg/m³ total carbon particulate and 0.1 mg/m³ elemental carbon particulate. The real time DPM monitor is being developed on the base of the successful Personal Dust Monitor (PDM) unit. The objectives of recently completed Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP) study has been to finalize the design of a DPM unit, to undertake comprehensive and internationally recognized laboratory testing to evaluate the new design and to undertake an underground series of tests to establish the robustness and reliability of the new approach. Under the project Thermo Fisher Scientific has undertaken structural changes to the PDM to convert it to a DPM real time monitoring underground instrument, the D-PDM. The Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Research Laboratories of NIOSH (the group that originally contracted for the PDM development) has undertaken laboratory “calibration or verification” testing. A phase of Australian mine robustness and engineering testing has been undertaken to ensure the instrument can effectively assist mine management to handle this health issue. Tests have been undertaken at points of expected high atmospheric DPM such as during Longwall face moves, Development RAM car, Eimco and PJB usages. The paper discusses how the monitors have performed within the underground mine environment in evaluating DPM during the various phases of the production cycle. They have closely examined the influence of aspects of the mine ventilation system. Results have been compared to alternative industry pollutant measuring approaches. The outcome of the project gives the industry access to an enhanced tool for understanding the mine atmosphere in the presence of DPM. Real time DPM monitoring will allow the industry to pin-point high exposure zones such as those encountered in coal longwall face moves where various vehicles work or in areas of constrained or difficult ventilation. Identifying of high DPM concentration zones allows efficient modification of work practices to reduce underground miners' exposure. Some outcomes of the ACARP project in this area will be discussed.

Meeting Name

12th U.S./North American Mine Ventilation Symposium (2008: Jun. 9-11, Reno, NV)


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

DPM; Coal Mines; Diesel Particulate Matter; Metal Mines

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2008 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

11 Jun 2008

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