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Journal o£ Scientific & Industrial Rcseacch

Vol. 50, October 2001. pp 786-797

Air Pollution due to Opencast Coal Mining and It’s Control in Indian Context
M K Ghose and S R Majee
Centre ot Mining Environment. Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad 826004, I ridia

Received: 29 Jzinuary 2001 ; accepted: 29 June 20111

Oj›cn «bsl mininy dominates the cual pr‹›ductiun rccnariu in India. II «r«ates more serious air pollution pmblcm in the arcn.
Cou) production scenario and its impaci nn air quality ir descrihed. To maintain the energy dcmnnd in npcn«asl mininy is
growing at a phenomenon rate. Ther« ir no wcll-dcfincJ mcthcd f‹›r assessing ihc impa«l ‹›n air quality due tu m ning pmjc«ts.
An invcsiigafion is conducted to cvalualc the impact on : ir environment due to upcncnst «›aI mininy. Emirri‹›n t“;ictor Jala nrc
utilized for computation o£ dust gcncratiun Ju« to Jirrercnt mining activities. Approach for ihc sel«fi‹›n ‹›f w‹›rk zone nnJ
ambient air monitoring stafinns ate dcs«rihcd. Work zcne air quality, ambient air quality. and scssnnal variafi‹›ns nre discusscJ.
which shows higk pollution pntenti»I 4ue to SPM. Thc status nl” air pollution due to cpcnc«rt mining ir ev«Juatc‹J and its impaci
on air environment is assessed. Chara«tcristi«s SPM .5hnw a great conccm to human hccllh. Air (›ollutinn control measures
involve planning and implementation ‹›f a series nf preventive ml suppressive measures in addition tn durt extrnclinn rystcm.
The study reveals that there is a need t‹›r widcr ogpli«atit›n c£ dtisl con!mI chcmi«aIr and an in depth tcchnn-c«cn‹›niic survey is
c.<sentiaI. DifTcrent abatement measures for cnntro) of air jx›Ilutinn arc enumemtc‹J. Air p‹›IIuIion control fry trc«s. trees tolcnint
‹i» »r i ror controlling air polTutinn is discussed. The mcthoJuloyy:Idogtcd «nuld hc
utilized on industrial scale

Introduction coal production was 7fi JVft/y the shnre efopencast mining
was 20 per cent. By 2000 AD when the total cont
Coal is the primary source of energy'. The develop-
production wn.s 4I7Mt the sh:try by ogenc:ist mining
ment of various industries hex a cascading alYect on the
reached about 70 per cent and the trtttire plan envix«•er
demaxd of coal. With the rapid rate of growth of
larger rharo by opencast mining.
industries, the future demand o£ coal will be very high.'
But the utilization of couI would be limited by In opencast mining. a ma.ssive overburden will have
environmental disruption, including deterioration of air to be removed to reach the mineral deposits. This may
quality due to the emirrion of particulate matier nnd other require excilvuiors, transporters, lo:iders, conveyed belts,
gaseous pollutants from vnriour mining operations. etc.. which will results in massive discharge of fine
which, in general, have ndve e environmental impacts. particulate from the overbttrden materials. Similarly
The magnitude and significance pollution, caured normal operations wi I I al so requ i re excav ation,
by mining, depends on method or mining. scale ;ihd lrnnsporiation, loading. unloading, size reduction, stock
concentration of mining activities, geological and piling etc’. Al I of these will penerale particulate
geomorphologicul setting of the nren. In JnJiu. «oa1 matter ". The volume and variety of air borne du.st
production wit) have to be increased to meet the energy particles in the ambient air is ever increa.sing and cattsing
demand at the rate of 20-25 Mt/y (ref 1). ]n underground air pollution problem in the surrounding areas. Cowherd”
coal mining humanr suffer from coul mining inside has reported that vehicular tr;iffic on haul rOiI) 0
underground workings but opencast mining creoles much mechanised opencast mines can contribute as much its
more air quality deterioration in respect of dust and 80 per cent or the dust emitted. Cha‹Jxvick ‹ i if. ’ huve
gaseous pollutant.s in and around the mining complexes. estimated that about 30 percent of totul coal dust released
Opencast mining dominates the coal production . c«nurio during journey time on an unpaved haiil road, while 25
in Indiadue to the techno-economic factor. better safety, percent for both during loading and unloading of dumper.
etc. At the time of nationalization in 1971. when the total Drilling is perhiips the next important rsource of (ugitive
dust'. Another mujor source nf Fugitive dust is wind
' A‹Jtrtnr fnr cnrrcsp‹›ndcn«c
erosion from coal stockpiles.

Over exploitation of nature in the nome of Control Board (CPCB) " . Government of India. The
industrialization and development is causing degradation sampling was continued twice a week for four weeks in
of our environment. At the same time, we do relalise a month of ench season covering winter (January),
that we cannot stop the development in the name ot summer (May-June). monsoon (August) and post-
saving environment only. A balance between sustainable monsoon (October) seasons. " Air samples were
development and environment management is the need collected for 24h in three 8h shifts corresponding to
of the hour. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) daytime, evening, and nighttime. Micrometeorological
plays a crucial role in resolving the conflicts’. Thus. ii is data were collected on sampling days with respect to
necessary to assess the impacts on air environment due wind direction, wind ve locity, humid ity and
to opencast coal mining so that proper roetigati ve temperature. '- '. SODAR data were collected trom a
measures could be implemented. However there is no monostatic and Doppler SODAR make Mfs Ramtech.
well-defined method of assessing the impacts on air Frnnce installed at Central Mining Research Station
environment due to opencast coal projects. To evaluate (CMRI), Dhanbad. The parameters studied were wind
the impact on air environment a fact-finding survey is speed and direction, mixing height, ventilation coefficient
essential. In this study attempts have been mnde to (vC).
develop a methodology to evaluate the status of air
For the collection of samples of suspended particulate
pollution due to opencast coal mining and to suggest
matter (SPM), glasn fibre ambient (GF/A) filter paper
control mensures for the control of air pollution.
was used in a high volume sampler (HVS) and for
Materials and Methods re.spirable dust particulate matter (RPM) GF/A was used
The study area was one or the largest opencast coal in respimble dust sampler (RDS) at a flow rate of I.I to
projects (OCP) for coking coal in Jharia Coalfields (JCF). I.5 m"/min that allows the SPM to deposit on the filter
It has 34.6 Mt qunrriable reserve of coal. The project puper. Particulate with size rnnge of 0.1 to l00pm was
report was sanctioned in lhe year 1982 for a targcied collected by HVS". The cut-point diam of RDS was less
production of 2.5 Mt/y and the life of the project was than l0{Im. Both. HVS and RDS were inanufilcturefl by
17 y. The quarry was being worked in two patches file Envirotech Ltd, New Delhi. HVS. having impinp•ers
through separate box cuts. Working depth during the (bubbler trains) in serie.s with sodium
study period was about 60 m in box Ctlt threc sections. tetrachloromercurate as absorbing solution. were
Working was going on in X seams having seam thickness operated at an average flow rate of 0.5L fmin for
of 9.62 m. The project is located in the north-west o( collection of SO (as per lS: 5152, Part II 1969) for 24h.In
JCF in Dhanbad district of Jharkhand State. It covets an the case of collection of NO sodium hydroxide was freed
area of about 6.8 sq km lt is located between latitudes as absorbing solution and collected at an avernge flow
23°46’30"N and 23°47’4"N and longitudes g6° l0’47”E mte of 0..5L fmin for 24h (as per IS: 1182, Part IV 1976).
and 86° I 3’31 "E. It is surrounded by many opencast and The impinges Sxamp1e5. W ere put in ice boxes immedi:itely
underground coal mines. after sampling and tr.inrferrcJ to n refrigerator prinr In
iITI ill y se. The samp les were ana ly sed speci ro-
Work zone nir quality monitoring stations werc photometrical ly. using West and Gake methO S ill)
rejected ncnr the rourcer o£ nir pollution "'. The Jetailx Jackob ;ind Hocheiser modified methods for analysis of
of the monitoring stations are given in Tahle I :ind 2. SO and Nox, respectively' ’. SPM and RPM were
Ambient air monitoring nations were selected, keeping coriipifled after weighing the filtur paper before and after
in view the dominant winJ direction.s prevailing in the sampl ing. The filter paper was conditioned in a dry
area. One ambient nir monitoring statio£l Well OCI\(Bd in
atmosphere before weighing.
the project office of OCP. The dominant winds directions
of the area" were W and NW. During the selection of Particle size analysis of SPM was done on the basis
ambient air monitoring stations the approach wits to put of the principle ot’ photo-extinction and sedimentation
two monitoring instniments at upwind (W and NW) and techniques with a Micron Phoiosizer manufactured hy
two instruments at downwind (E und SE) dire«tioits. The Seisin Enterprise Co. Ltd, Japan (Model SKN 1tlt)fiL
approach was aIro to see that there should cover the Attachment of centrifuge with the unit had made it pos-
industrial, residential and sensitive are:I like hospital :tx sible to determine sizr distribution up to 0.02 p. Raspi-
different standards have heen laid hy Central Pollution rable dust sampler (RDS) make Envirotech. New Delhi
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