Micro Fresh Filters help provide fresh air in underground mining situations and filters have been fitted to a wide range of equipment used underground.

CANARIES are no longer found in coal mines but humans who work there still need to breathe. It is, therefore, essential to keep air pollution as low as possible, especially from potentially cancer-causing diesel fumes.

Micro Fresh Filters developed its disposable diesel exhaust filters for underground mines in conjunction with the 3M Company and BHP Billiton Illawarra Coal. Micro Fresh fitted its first filter to a scoop loader at the Tower Colliery in 1995.

These filters use advanced polymers that also help to reduce the risk of fires, by being less flammable than paper or fibreglass and by being able to function with mandatory wet scrubber exhaust coolers. Using these filters removes up to 90% of carcinogenic particles in diesel fumes.

Having conquered Australian underground coal mines, Micro Fresh Filters is moving on to other technologies, like diesel particulate catalysts suitable for all large equipment and open cut mines and to markets in countries such as South Africa, the United States and Canada. They are also targeting other dangerous pollutants like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and acrolein.

Micro Fresh particulate catalysts are being used by a variety of major mining companies operating in Australia's largest underground mining regions - Mt Isa and Kalgoorlie. In addition to production equipment, catalysts are being evaluated on Toyota Landcruisers which, like in most metalliferous mines around the world, are used as underground transport.

To help these international operations, Micro Fresh has formed a joint venture with German company Freudenberg Filtration Technologies (FTT). "This is an exciting development for Micro Fresh with the prospect of us being able to access FFT's considerable product range together with their internationally recognized technology and solutions for our customers," says Micro Fresh Filters' founder Raymond de Jersey.