Characterization of dust samples from a coal strip mine using a resuspension chamber
A metallic cylindrical resuspension chamber (V = 0.437 m3, S = 0.35 m2, S/V = 8.38) was constructed to disperse samples of soil and various kinds of dust. The chamber allows on-line determination of number/mass size distribution of aerosol particles formed by dispersion and subsequent sampling of size-segregated particles on filter media. The samples tested were lignite, power plant flue ash and overburden soil from the Nastup coal strip mine in Northern Bohemia. About 20 mg of the individual samples were pneumatically dispersed by 0.5 liter of pressurized air inside the chamber under defined temperature and humidity conditions. Then the dynamics of aerosol size distributions was recorded using an aerodynamic particle sizer with a frequency of 5 seconds. The lignite and flue ash contributed most to the mass of atmospheric aerosol particles smaller than 10/2.5 micrometer – PM10/ PM2.5. The re-suspended mass of the samples varied between 0.001% for overburden soil and 0.32% for mine road soil. The aerosolized lignite and flue ash samples, sampled by a Harvard Impactor and a Personal Cascade Impactor Sampler, revealed that the ash contained higher amounts of fine particles than the lignite and subsequent chemical analyses, carried out using SEM-EDX, reveals that the PM2.5 fraction formed by dispersion of the ash samples had the highest content of sulphur, and PM10 was dominated by Si. PM10 was closest to mullite, while the PM2.5 fraction contained sulphides, pyrites, pyrrhotites and polytypes of sulphide. The PM1 fraction was dominated by quartz glass. The fractions of sizes 2.5–1 μm and 0.5–0.25 μm were dominated by Si and S, respectively.
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