The Use of Vermiculite to Control Dust and Radon Daughters In Underground Uranium Mine Air

CIM Bulletin, 1973

R. A. WASHINGTON, Research Scientist, W. CHI, Research Assistant, and R. REGAN, Research Technician, Elliot Lake Laboratory, Mining Research Centre, Mines Branch, Dept. of Energy, Mines and Resources, Elliot Lake, Ontario

In uranium mines, the purification of underground mine air can be accomplished by the removal of dust particles and radon daughters using filters. Full-scale statistically designed experiments with flow rates up to 10,000 cfm have been conducted at Denison Mines Ltd. on mine air filtration with vermiculite as a filter material. Various filtration bed thicknesses were chosen, with different face velocities through each bed thickness. Results on total dust, respirable dust and radon daughter collection efficiencies were analysed statistically. It is shown that these collection efficiencies are directly related to the filter bed thickness. However, the different face velocities seem to affect only the collection of radon daughters. Optimum collection efficiencies for a clean bed of about 30% were found for respirable dust and radon daughters, and about 41>% for total dust, using an 8-in.-thick bed and a face velocity of 500 fpm. Dust build-up on the filter bed during operation led to an increase in collection efficiency, reaching 40 to 60% after two weeks.
Keywords: Air, Decay of Radon Daughters, Denison Mines, Elliot Lake, pressure drop, vermiculite, Dust, Efficiency, Filters, Filtration, Radon daughters, Respirable dust, test, Tests