Experimental investigation on environmental control of a 50-person mine refuge chamber

Zujing Zhang, Ting Jin, Hongwei Wu, Rodney Day, Xiangkui Gao, Kequan Wang, Ruiyong Mao

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Air quality and thermal environment of mine refuge chamber (MRC) are very important to determine the physical safety of refugees. Accurately assessing the environmental load and taking reasonable measures are critical to achieve the environmental control goals of MRC. In order to evaluate the metabolic parameters of occupants and the effectiveness of environmental control measures in a MRC, in this research, 50 adult men entered a MRC laboratory for an 8-h test. During the test, the compressed O 2 cylinders and air purification devices were used to ensure the indoor air quality. The possibility of using chemical adsorbents to passively scrub CO 2 and the performance of dehumidification by mine compressed air (MCA) were also investigated by simulation experiments. The results indicated that: (1) The per capita metabolic rates of O 2, CO 2 and heat during the refuge process are 0.34–0.37 L/min, 0.34 L/min and 117–128 W, respectively. (2) When Ca(OH) 2 particles are used as CO 2 adsorbent, the air purification device has both dehumidification and CO 2 scrubbing functions, and three air purification devices could make the CO 2 concentration below 0.8% with the relative humidity below 76%. When Ca(OH) 2 particles are packaged to passively scrub CO 2, the amount of adsorbent may increase significantly. (3) When MCA is used for dehumidification in a MRC, the air volume of 0.15 m 3/min per capita could maintain the relative humidity close to 60%. (4) In the early stage of disaster avoidance, the indoor ambient temperature rises rapidly within 1 h followed by a slight increase.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108667
Number of pages12
JournalBuilding and Environment
Early online date22 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2022


  • Air quality
  • Ambient temperature
  • Human metabolic rate
  • Mine refuge chamber
  • Relative humidity


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