Particulate matter in mines and mining environments (PARMAT)

Research summary

Mining consists of a long chain of actions starting from exploring suitable mineral deposits, building up the mine infrastructure and finally initiating and conducting the production. Every step has own environmental concerns. Besides the environmentally adverse effects, mine production may affect nearby population and pollute the working environment. The main categories of particles in mines are mineral dust, combustion products of explosives and diesel engine emissions. Both mineral dust and diesel engine emissions have serious health concerns. This project focuses on different issues in mining environments, which help in making the future mines more sustainable and environmentally sound.


The objectives of PARMAT are:

(1) to develop an inexpensive particulate matter (PM) sensor which is able to detect both coarse and fine particle fractions of PM. Sensor has ability for wireless communication and networking and in this project we will demonstrate that a PM sensor network can be used for better control of PM levels in
different mine types.
(2) to conduct new chemical characterization of particulate matter using high time-resolution instruments. This enables detection of combustion products of explosives, PM emissions of diesel engines (fuel, lubricating oil) and secondary particle formation from emissions' gaseous precursors.
(3) to measure particle optical properties to estimate potential albedo changes of surfaces due to particle deposition and subsequent glacier smelting.

Research methods:
WP1: Chemical and physical characterization and sources of PM in an underground mine (FMI + TUT)
- Field study of a two weeks campaign. The instruments will be located in
a maintenance area of the mine (provisionally at � 500 m; Figure 1).
WP2: Development of sensors suitable for air quality control in mines
- Sensor tests in an underground mine for two months
WP3: PM from mining area and their influences on environment
- The spatial distribution of PM from the mine using a sensor network
(Figure 2) and size distribution measurements of PM
- The sensor network operates two months and a two week intensive
WP4: Networking and researcher exchange, (FMI, MMC, TUT)
- Video meetings, face-to-face meetings, student exchange

More information

Project information

Research info

Research title
Particulate matter in mines and mining environments (PARMAT)

Research timeline
1.3.2016 - 1.2.2019

CONICYT Bilateral Agreement Environmental Effects of Mining Activities mining Particulate Matter (PM) Particulate Matter Sensors

Latin America

Chile, Finland

Tampere University of Technology
Aerosol Physics Laboratory
Tampere, Finland

Funding instrument
Academy of Finland

Head of research
Jorma Keskinen

Research team
Jorma Keskinen, Topi Rönkkö, Panu Karjalainen, Sampo Saari, D.Sc. (Tech.), Antti Rostedt, Jenni Alanen Ernesto Gramsch Hilkka Timonen

Tampere University of Technology, Aerosol Physics Laboratory; Finnish Meteorological Institute, Atmospheric Composition Research Unit; Centro Mario Molina Chile; Atmospheric Research Group, University of Santiago de Chile.

Contact information
Jorma Keskinen
+358 40 198 1003

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