Wind tunnel tests to estimate the PM10 and PM2.5 emissions from complex substrates of open-cast mines in Germany

Joint publication by Dr. Roger Funk (Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e.V.) and Bernd Hör (Müller-BBM GmbH) on pages 23 to 32 of issue 39 of the magazine „Aeolian Research“ in August 2019.

Lignite open-cast mining is a source of dust and particulate emissions. They are caused by wind erosion of devastated areas as well as by typical activities connected with open-cast mining like the removal of surfaces (excavation) and the discarding of excavation material. The present publication deals with wind-induced dust emissions. They are, among other things, needed for the prediction of dust emissions within the scope of licensing procedures in the field of mining law.

In wind tunnel tests substrates of four active mines in Lower Lusatia were investigated, among other things to estimate the PM10 and PM2.5 emissions. The substrates included the cover layers of the working levels and the lignite seams. Two experimental approaches were compared to make a connection between the PM emissions of the substrates and the most important release mechanisms and substrate properties.

The results show that lignite and substrates containing lignite as well as exposed surfaces have emission potentials of 5 to 650 µg/g in case of PM10 and 2 to 44 µg/g in case of PM2.5, depending on the respective working levels like initial excavation, bench etc. homogeneous substrates have a higher dust emission potential than heterogeneous substrates.

You will find the article (in English) also at ScienceDirect. If you would like to contact the author from the company Müller-BBM, please send an e-mail to

Aeolian Research, international specialist magazine on research projects in the field of wind erosion.

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