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Development, Application and Validation of the Real-Time Coal Dust Monitoring Instrument
AdvisorKocsis, Karoly C.
Mining and Metallurgical Engineering
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A real-time photoacoustic coal-dust monitor for underground mining applications has been developed to address the health and safety concerns associated with dust related illnesses. This instrument was co-developed with Patrick Arnott, Sarah Tesfasion and Apryl Witherspoon of the UNR Physics department. The primary goals addressed in development of this real-time coal-dust monitor were user portability, instrument durability and maintaining a low development cost. Instrument functionality and principles for operation were based off older, large and free-standing photoacoustic dust-monitors previously designed by Patrick Arnott. To scale down these instruments to a user portable size, the resonance chamber, pumps and controls were addressed. After prototype completion, the instrument was tested with Kerosene soot to determine efficacy and accuracy. Success from the kerosene test led to further testing against other dust-monitoring instruments at NIOSH laboratories in Philadelphia by Arnott, Tesfasion and Witherspoon. The current instrument has proven very effective for determining organic aerosols such as coal-dust; however, further development is planned to include a laser frequency that can more effectively accommodate silica dust. Further reducing the size of the current instrument is a major goal for future development to achieve a truly user-portable dust-monitor.