Surfactant-aided coal dust suppression: A review of evaluation methods and influencing factors
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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. There is an increasing trend in the occurrence of coal worker's pneumoconiosis even in developed countries such as the US and Australia who have believed such an issue have been well controlled in the past. Water spray is one of the most commonly applied methods for underground coal mines dust control, and research have shown the dust suppression efficiency can be greatly improved by adding surfactants. However, the literature appears to show inconsistent results that do not provide the coal mining industry with a clearly effective solution. The breakthrough in this field relies on the achievements in prior work, but an up-to-date critical review was not found. By critically reviewing prior studies, this paper highlights the advances in the surfactant-aided coal dust suppression technology. Firstly, the surfactant chemical structure, surfactant type and mechanism of surfactant adsorption were explained. Secondly, the commonly used surfactant efficiency evaluation methods were described. This is important for producing comparable and reproducible results. After that, key aspects of the influencing factors were discussed, which are essential for developing effective and robust dust suppression products. In the discussion on the challenges and further research directions, we suggest more focus should be on the dynamic interaction between the coal particle and water droplet in wind tunnels or well controlled onsite conditions.
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