Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

Neil Alston, Ping Chang, Zidong Zhao, Apurna Ghosh, Laboratory and field testing of surfactants used to meet new workplace exposure standards for respirable dust in coal mines, Proceedings of the 2021 Resource Operators Conference, University of Wollongong - Mining Engineering, 10-12 February 2021, University of Southern Queensland, 261-269.


ABSTRACT: Respirable coal dust is generated during the mechanised mining process and is one of the main occupational health hazards in coal mines. Due to its fine characteristics, it can affect the performance of mining equipment and cause adverse health effects in mine workers. There is a recent focus upon improved dust control measures in Australian mines. This is primarily due to a resurgence in reported cases of coal mine lung dust disease in both NSW and QLD coal mines. New more stringent workplace exposure standards (WES) are currently being introduced for both respirable coal and silica dusts. Considerable research has been carried out in developing coal dust control technologies, and water suppression with added surfactant is one high-level control measure available to coal mines. This paper will review recent dust monitoring results, available control measures and then analyse recent laboratory and field test results for a commercially available surfactant known as DUST KING. These test results will greatly assist mines to consider surfactants as an effective control measure to improve the occupational health of mineworkers.