Document Type

Conference Paper

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Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Gillies, A and Wu, H, A New Real Time Personal Respirable Dust Monitor, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2006: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2006, 77-92.


A new personal respirable dust monitor developed by Thermo Electron Corporation under a project funded by the US National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) has generated promising results in underground coal mine testing performed in the US recently. An Australian Coal Association Research Project funded study has been undertaken to evaluate this new real-time dust monitor for personal respirable dust evaluation use particularly in engineering studies. It is believed to be the first personal dust monitor instrument (PDM) for use on mine faces that reliably delivers a near-real-time reading. It can quickly highlight high dust situations and allow the situation to be corrected. The instrument has been tested for robustness and potential to be used as an engineering tool to evaluate the effectiveness of dust control strategies. This project has evaluated the ability of the new PDM to quickly and accurately measure changes to longwall and development section dust levels at manned points after implementation of changes and improvements. Extensive tests have been undertaken at a number of Australian longwall underground mines. The technology that forms the heart of the personal PDM, the TEOM® system, is unique in its ability to collect suspended particles on a filter while simultaneously determining the accumulated mass.. The monitor internally measures the true particle mass collected on its filter and results do not exhibit the same sensitivity to water spray as optically-based measurement approaches. The technique achieves microgram-level mass resolution even in the hostile mine environment, and reports dust loading data on a continuous basis. Using the device, miners and mine operators have the ability to view both the cumulative and projected end-of-shift mass concentration values, as well as a short-term five minute short term running averages. It is believed to be the first personal dust monitor instrument that reliably delivers a near-real-time reading.