World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Coal dust

Article Id: WHEBN0000291861
Reproduction Date:

Title: Coal dust  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Occupational Safety and Health articles by quality log, Dust explosion, Mining accident, Coal, Coal mining
Collection: Coal, Mine Safety, Occupational Diseases
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Coal dust

Coal dust is a fine powdered form of coal, which is created by the crushing, grinding, or pulverizing of coal. Because of the brittle nature of coal, coal dust can be created during mining, transportation, or by mechanically handling coal.


  • Risks 1
    • Explosions 1.1
    • Lung and skin problems 1.2
  • Coal dust in energy generation 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5



Le Petit Journal illustration of the Courrières mine disaster
Crowd gathering at the pit head of the Senghenydd Colliery in October 1913 after the coal dust explosion

Coal dust suspended in air is explosive—coal dust has far more surface area per unit weight than lumps of coal, and is more susceptible to spontaneous combustion. As a result, a nearly empty coal store is a greater explosion risk than a full one. The worst mining accidents in history have been caused by coal dust explosions, such as the disaster at Senghenydd in South Wales in 1913 in which 439 miners died, the Courrières mine disaster in Northern France which killed 1,099 miners in 1906, the Luisenthal Mine disaster in Germany, which claimed 299 lives in 1962, and the worst: the explosion at Benxihu Colliery, China, which killed 1,549 in 1942. Such accidents were usually initiated by firedamp ignitions, the shock wave of which raised coal dust from the floor of the mine galleries to make an explosive mixture. The problem was investigated by Michael Faraday and Charles Lyell at the colliery at Haswell County Durham of 1844, but their conclusions were ignored at the time. The main attempts at prevention include using safety lamps, adding stone dust coffers to mine galleries to dilute the coal dust, watering workings and ensuring efficient ventilation of all the workings.

Lung and skin problems

Coal workers' pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease, is caused by inhaling coal dust, typically dust produced in coal mining. Government agencies in the United States have set exposure limit guidelines for coal dust inhalation.

Coal dust in energy generation

For use in thermal power plants, coal is ground into dust using a device called a powdered coal mill.[1] The resulting product, called powdered coal or pulverized coal, is then generally used in a fossil fuel power plant for electricity generation. Pulverised coal is a significant dust explosion hazard, as large quantities are suspended in air for transfer from the mill to the power plant. Explosions have occurred when the flow drops and flames in the burning chamber pass back along the ductwork delivering fuel.

See also


  1. ^ "Powdered Coal Mill". Engineering Dictionary. EngNet. 


  • "Coal Dust Explosibility Meter Evaluation and Recommendations for Application". NIOSH Information Circular No. 9529, Mining Safety and Health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC. August 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  • "NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Coal Dust". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  • "Occupational Safety and Health Guideline for Coal Dust (Less than 5 percnet SiO(2))". Occupational Safety & Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  • "Technology News 515 - Float Coal Dust Explosion Hazards". Technology News. NIOSH Publication No. 2006-125, Mining Safety and Health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC. April 2006. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.