Tracer gas measurements of effective ventilation airflow and its influence on dust concentrations in underground quarry

Kyuro Sasaki, Yuichi Sugai, Arif Widiatmojo, Hideo Naka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Ventilation measurements were carried out in a shallow underground-quarry space with relatively large internal volume of 14,600 m3 in order to evaluate its effective ventilation characteristics. Based on air velocity measurements with an ultrasonic anemometer in the exhaust airway connected to the space, it was found that the space was ventilated by natural ventilation airflow with intermittent changes in direction. It was difficult to measure the ventilation flow with typical methods of flow measurement provided from the intake portal and throughout the mine, because the cross-sectional area and volume of the openings were too large and the flow was variable. In the present study, a tracer gas method was applied to evaluate the effective ventilation airflow rate in the space. A photo-acoustic infra-red gas monitor, highly sensitive to SF6 gas used as a tracer gas, was set in the space to determine air exchange rates from gas concentration-time decay curves. The seasonal variations of airflow and thermal environment in the space were investigated through 13 sets of measurements taken over 15 months. Airborne rock dust concentrations were also measured at same time in the opening. The correlations between the effective ventilation airflow rate, thermal environment and dust concentrations in the opening space were analyzed and are discussed based on the presented measurements taken during year. It is concluded that seasonal variations in effective ventilation flow and the dust concentration are mainly due to differences in air temperature in the space, as affected by the rock’s surface temperature and atmospheric temperature. In summertime, the air temperature and associated air density difference generated lower natural ventilation flows resulting in higher dust concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication23rd World Mining Congress Proceedings
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
EventWMC 2013 : 23rd World Mining Congress and Expo 2013 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Aug 10 2013Aug 14 2013


ConferenceWMC 2013 : 23rd World Mining Congress and Expo 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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