Scratching the surface

Donna Schmidt takes a look at some of the most interesting research efforts that will be changing the face of surface coal

Scratching the surface Scratching the surface Scratching the surface Scratching the surface Scratching the surface

A NIOSH study is looking at dust generation and exposure from surface blasthole drilling

With a constant drive to make things safer and more efficient, the surface mining sector of the coal industry is often at the centre of a plethora of research studies.

Many of these are tackled by the research experts at the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and many, even if conducted elsewhere, have surface coal applications.

One of the newest projects from the research agency is a dust study, more specifically dust generation and exposure from surface blasthole drilling.

The work by NIOSH's David Zheng, William Reed, Drew Potts, Mingming Li and James Rider uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to study the effects of air-blocking shelves on airflow and respirable dust generation associated with medium-sized surface blasthol...