Diesel-operated vehicles are commonly used by personnel in underground mines. Although these vehicles facilitate travel within the mine, their main disadvantage is that they generate diesel particulate matter (DPM), a known carcinogenic agent. This calls for research to control the spread of DPM in underground mines in order to ensure the safety of mine personnel. In this article, the flow patterns of DPM generated by two types of diesel-operated vehicles are modeled using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The simulation results are validated using field experimental measurements. The models show that if the vehicle is stationary, DPM particles are dispersed towards the center of the gallery and occupy the entire cross section of the road way. Vehicle movement induces air currents that may result in the miners being exposed to high DPM concentrations. The results show that if the DPM and the intake air counter-flow (flow in opposite directions), the DPM spread occurs throughout the entire cross-section of the roadway. This research is expected to contribute to the formulation of effective DPM control strategies in underground mines.
Part of the book: Introduction to Diesel Emissions