Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

Jon Roberts, Michael Hopkins, Peter Wypych and Vitold Ronda, Application of computer aided engineering techniques in combination with high-energy dust suppression technology for the handling of coal, in Naj Aziz and Bob Kininmonth (eds.), Proceedings of the 2019 Coal Operators Conference, Mining Engineering, University of Wollongong, 18-20 February 2019, 330-336.


The coal industry faces significant challenges in the control of dust to meet emissions regulations and goals as well as ensuring sustainable operations. This paper describes some of the different techniques and innovative technologies that are being developed and implemented to improve the suppression of airborne dust, specifically through the use numerical modelling in combination with high-energy micro-mist sprays. In the handling of coal, ROM bin loading, transfer points, and discharge to stockpiles are identified as common and significant sources of dust, specific industry examples are presented. To tackle these areas, the utilisation of CFD and CFD-DEM simulation modelling is identified and described as a key enabling technology for an improvement in dust suppression technology both from a level of understanding of the source and dynamics of these emissions, and for the development of new systems that can be used in the coal industry. CFD-DEM modelling is outlined as a method for analysis of dust and air flow, whilst CFD modelling is shown to be effective for modelling spray dispersion and dynamics under varying conditions. New high-energy micro-mist technology is also outlined as a key element in developing high-efficiency dust suppression systems. The application of these technologies is shown as applied to industrial problems at various Australian mines with data presented demonstrating the reduction in dust emissions that can be achieved.