Detecting harmful gases in mines is a challenging task because of the wide variety of things that emit them. One must be aware of what to look for and some understanding of how these gases function to identify each gas efficiently.
This post outlines some common causes of hazardous gas emissions. It discusses some methods for detecting them using a simple mine safety kit.
Causes of gas emissions
A few common causes that gas emitters include biological material, excess moisture, ventilation needs, and sunlight. The most common gas emitters are ammonia, hydrogen sulfide (HS), methane (CH4), and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Ways to detect gases in mines
There are multiple techniques for detecting hazardous gas in a mine. These include traditional mine safety equipment, infrared cameras, acoustic detectors, and gas monitoring stations.
Traditional mine safety equipment is some of the most effective equipment to use in detecting harmful gases. These include gas alarms, which can be purchased at hardware stores and online retailers for personal use. The presence of hazardous gases activates the gas alarm.
It produces an audible noise that warns the user or creates an alarm that can be traced by emergency personnel. Other mines safety equipment includes air-flow sensors, which can be purchased at hardware stores for personal use, and fans can be purchased online.
Infrared cameras are often used to detect hazardous gases in mines. The camera is stationary in the mine while the user is mobile. These cameras capture infrared images of the mine and relay the images to a monitor for viewing and interpretation by a human operator.
Acoustic detectors are also common in the industry and are often used to detect gas leaks. Acoustic sensors measure the sound emitted from a gas leak and confirm that the level of sound of the leak is within acceptable parameters.
Gas monitoring systems allow users to monitor the level of hazardous gases in the mine over time. Most systems consist of a sensor that detects gases and a monitor that displays information such as air pollutants, CO2 levels, or gasses in different densities (percentage concentrations).
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Communications! For over 15 years, Becker Communications has been the industry’s leader in Gas Monitoring Devices and electrical mining communication systems. As they expanded into surface mining, railroads, and tunneling they added wireless communication systems, handheld radios, tagging and tracking systems, as well as gas monitoring.