For a decade the company has been developing its Micro Fresh DA100 in conjunction with BHP Illawarra to remove diesel particulate matter (DPM) from the exhausts of underground mine machinery.
After putting the filters through exhaustive tests, US Mining Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) gave approvals for the DA101 to be used on machines fitted with water scrubbers.
“Until now the only filter that had been fitted to equipment in the US was paper filters and these have both a short life and can of course ignite,” said company director Ray de Jersey.
“The DA101 is not only the only non flammable filter available, but considering the tests now being carried out are 80 - 90 % more effective in operation than paper.”
Australian company Hymec Engineering developed the housing to allow the filter to be retrofitted to mobile equipment. Filter housing has been fitted to an Eimco vehicle at the Energy West mine at Deer Creek in Utah and to an Eimco machine at the Eimco operation in Bolt, West Virginia. Extensive tests in the USA have been conducted on both filter fittings.
“The test results have been excellent and assuming a machine duty cycle of say three hours they would give up to five shifts before change over,” de Jersey said.
He added that 500 operating vehicles fitted with water scrubbers have been identified in the US, all of which will need to be modified to comply with new coal mining laws. Micro Fresh Filters is also working with several US equipment manufacturers about offering retrofitting options.
“We believe we still a lot of hard work ahead of us but considering we are only a small Australian company manufacturing in Australia, the interest we are receiving tells us there is a bright future ahead. It is interesting to note that we have worked for the last 10 years on this project without any Government or other assistance which proves any one can do it,” de Jersey said.