Best Practices for Underground Coal Mines: Wet Air Scrubbers in Mining

Wet air scrubbers are devices used in underground coal mines for the exhaust air treatment system of various internal combustion engines, primarily as a spark arrestor. A secondary function is to remove pollutants from the exhaust gas. Wet scrubbers are widely used in underground applications of diesel particulate matter (DPM) and other pollutant gases. Wet scrubbers possess numerous advantages over other devices used in the post-air treatment exhaust gas. Wet air scrubbers are comparatively small in size, increasing the ease of placement in an engine.

The fluid dynamic characteristic in the wet air scrubber is similar to that in a bubble column, which is as a cylindrical vessel with a bubble generator at the bottom. Mass transfer inside the scrubber is far more complex than a bubble column. There are three main mass transfers in wet scrubbers:

  • Soluble gas
  • Water vapour
  • Particulate matter

A venturi scrubber, which is another cleaning device in the wet scrubber family, has high efficiencies of cleaning over the packed bed scrubbers. Modeling becomes more difficult if heat transfer between bubble and water is coupled with condensation/deposition of soluble gas, water stream, and DPM.

Scrubbers and trommels are useful instruments in the mineral recovery process. They are available in a variety of sizes and suited to a variety of applications. Wet scrubbers can handle stone washing, feeds with high clay content and different ore. Such scrubbers process precious metals, base metal ores, minerals, aggregates, gravel, and sand through the rotation and the force of particles hitting each other. As a result, the soil matrix is broken, and the target material is liberated.

A trommel, in its turn, is a slightly inclined rotating metal tube with a screen at its discharge end. The ore is fed into the elevated end of the trommel. Water, often under pressure, is provided to the trommel and screen sections and the combination of water and mechanical action frees the valuable minerals from the ore. The large pieces of ore that do not pass through the screen can be carried to a waste stack by a conveyor. Trommels can be fitted to the end of a scrubber to screen the broken down material produced by the scrubber.

Trommel scrubbers are kind of equipment used to wash ores in industries such as ferrous metal, nonferrous metal, metallurgy, and mining. The washing process is to add clear water to such equipment as mud and sand of the raw core dissolved in water. After the washing process, the ores can meet technological requirements. If the salt content in the manganese ore, for example, is 80%, after the scrubber washing process this figurer can become smaller than 15%.

Being a new type of wet air scrubber, multi-vortex wet air scrubber provides improved air treatment quality and can be used for both particles matter and gas collection. The treatment quality of multi-vortex wet air scrubber is generally 99.95-99.99% for both types of pollutants. Besides high efficiency, multi-vortex wet air scrubber possesses a number of advantages over conventional wet scrubbers – multi-vortex wet air scrubber is compact, omnivorous, eco-friendly, economical, and low-maintenance.

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