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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X

J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.108 n.11 Johannesburg Nov. 2008




Effect of using plastic spacers on toxic fume generation by permitted explosives



S.K. RoyI; R.R. SinghI; R. KumarI; U.K. DeyII

ICentral Mining Research Institute, Jharkhand, India
IIBihar Institute of Technology, Sindri, Jharkhand, India




Toxic gases, mostly carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrous oxides (NOx), are invariably generated by commercial explosives under practical conditions of usage because of oxygen unbalance and nonideal chemical reaction. Permitted explosives are statutorily required to meet the criteria stipulated by regulatory authority for their toxic fume quality for their safe use in underground coal mines.
Solid blasting using P5 explosives contribute around 60% production from Indian underground coal mines. Low pull and yield per blast in solid blasting has been identified as a reason for low production and productivity of Indian underground coal mines. In an effort to improve performance of solid blasting, it was envisaged to apply air decking between suitable P5 explosives using high density polyethylene (HDPE) spacers under a Ministry of Coal, Government of India funded project. A non-deflagrating slurry explosive composition having high air gap sensitivity was specially developed for this purpose, so that air decked cartridges get detonated sympathetically with single priming. However, statutory authority in India apprehended that the use of oxygen negative HDPE spacers can influence the generation of toxic gases. The effect of using HDPE spacers on the generation of toxic gases was studied under simulated laboratory conditions with newly developed as well as with three commercial P5 explosives. The results of studies presented in this paper revealed that the level of carbon monoxide increases linearly and there is no significant effect on the level of oxides of nitrogen due to the use of HDPE spacers with selected explosives. Studies also revealed that this newly developed slurry explosive can be used for air decking up to 15 cm using HDPE spacers of weight not more than 21 g without exceeding the permissible limits for toxic gases.



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