Development and Implementation of a Standard Methodology for Respirable Coal Mine Dust Characterization with Thermogravimetric Analysis
Scaggs, Meredith Lynne
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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the potential of a novel method for analysis and characterization of coal mine dust. Respirable dust has long been an industry concern due to the association of overexposure leading to the development occupational lung disease. Recent trends of increased incidence of occupational lung disease in miners, such as silicosis and Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis, has shown there is a need for a greater understanding of the respirable fraction of dust in underground coal mines. This study will examine the development of a comprehensive standard methodology for characterization of respirable dust via thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). This method was verified with laboratory-generated respirable dust samples analogous to those commonly observed in underground coal mines. Results of this study demonstrate the ability of the novel TGA method to characterize dust efficiently and effectively. Analysis of the dust includes the determination of mass fractions of coal and non-coal, as well as mass fractions of coal, carbonate, and non-carbonate minerals for larger respirable dust samples. Characterization occurs through the removal of dust particulates from the filter and analysis with TGA, which continuously measures change in mass with specific temperature regions associated with chemical changes for specific types of dust particulates. Results obtained from the verification samples reveal that this method can provide powerful information that may help to increase the current understanding of the health risks linked with exposure to certain types of dust, specifically those found in underground coal mines.
- Masters Theses