• An Evalulation Of Variables Affecting Gold Extraction At A Mineral Processing Plant Operated In A Sub-Arctic Environment

      Hollow, John T.; Lin, Hsing Kuang (2006)
      The Fort Knox Mine, located 25 miles northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska, is operated in a sub-Antic environment. Since process slurry temperatures cycle seasonally with air temperature, the mine presents a unique opportunity to measure the impact of slurry temperature on process performance under full scale plant, conditions. This thesis analyzes an energy balance approach to model the seasonal variations in slurry temperature throughout the Fort Knox mill. The mill utilizes both gravity concentration and cyanidation for gold recovery. Models were developed to accurately predict the impact of slurry temperature on cyanide leach, carbon adsorption and cyanide destruction kinetics. The energy balance model, combined with the kinetics models, was used to accurately predict the gold recovery and subsequently to justify the installation of a tailings wash thickener to recovery heat from the mill tailings. A substantial portion of this thesis is dedicated to the development of these models, analysis of the post expansion plant performance, and summarizing project economics. Gold in the Fort Knox deposit is generally less than 100 microns in size and contained in quartz veins and along shears within the host granite, at an average gold grade of 0.8 g/metric ton. In April 2001, the mill began processing ore from a satellite ore deposit, the True North Mine, as a blend with Fort Knox ore. The gold grade in the True North deposit averages 1.5 g/metric ton and can be associated with pyrite, arsenopyrite and stibnite. An unexpected drop in gold recovery resulted from processing the blended ore and was the subject of an extensive laboratory evaluation. Laboratory results suggested that the leach kinetics of the coarse gold particles were significantly impacted, when the blended ore was processed, and that the impact could be reduced, or eliminated, with the addition of lead nitrate. Subsequently, a lead nitrate addition scheme was implemented at the Fort Knox mill. A portion of this thesis is dedicated to a review of the laboratory program, an evaluation of the environmental impacts and a summary of plant performance, when utilizing lead nitrate at the Fort Knox Mine.
    • Analysis of unfrozen water in cation-treated, fine-grained soils using the pulse nuclear magnetic resonance (P-NMR) method

      Kruse, Aaron M.; Darrow, Margaret M.; Metz, Paul A.; Trainor, Thomas P. (2016-12)
      Unfrozen water within frozen soils is a key component that determines a soil's thermophysical response to changing physical and environmental conditions. This research focuses on the use of pulse nuclear magnetic resonance (P-NMR) for measuring unfrozen water content within frozen soils. The research is divided into two components: 1) improvements made to the P-NMR testing method, including refinements in the laboratory set up and testing procedure, and experimental validation of the normalization method; and 2) determination of unfrozen water content of fine-grained, cation-treated samples at various sub-freezing temperatures using the improved P-NMR methodology. Previous P-NMR testing used the first return data from the free induction decay signal intensity to calculate unfrozen water content; however, this approach may overestimate unfrozen water due to inclusion of ice content. This research used the normalization method for calculating unfrozen water, which proved to be repeatable with excellent agreement between P-NMR-derived unfrozen water and physical gravimetric water content data. Cation treatments of five standard clays and one heterogeneous soil were prepared to determine how the physicochemical structure of clays, including the adsorbed cations, controls the amount of unfrozen water. Results indicated that cation treatments have negligible effect on the unfrozen water content of kaolinite, and minimal effect on illite, chlorite, and the heterogeneous soil. Conversely, soils that are partially or completely composed of smectite demonstrated the largest unfrozen water content when treated with Na⁺ cations, and a marked reduction with the K⁺ treatment. Using the results of the standard clay testing, the unfrozen water content for the natural, heterogeneous soil was estimated, which matched measured values within 4%. This suggests that the unfrozen water content of a heterogeneous soil with a known mineralogy may be approximated from a database of measured standard clay unfrozen water contents of standard clays.
    • Automatic detection of sensor calibration errors in mining industry

      Pothina, Rambabu; Ganguli, Rajive; Ghosh, Tathagata; Lawlor, Orion; Barry, Ronald (2017-12)
      Sensor errors cost the mining industry millions of dollars in losses each year. Unlike gross errors, "calibration errors" are subtle, develop over time, and are difficult to identify. Economic losses start accumulating even when errors are small. Therefore, the aim of this research was to develop methods to identify calibration errors well before they become obvious. The goal in this research was to detect errors at a bias as low as 2% in magnitude. The innovative strategy developed relied on relationships between a variety of sensors to detect when a given sensor started to stray. Sensors in a carbon stripping circuit at a gold processing facility (Pogo Mine) in Alaska were chosen for the study. The results from the initial application of classical statistical methods like correlation, aggregation and principal component analysis (PCA), and the signal processing methods (FFT), to find bias (±10%) in "feed" sensor data from a semi-autogenous (SAG) grinding mill operation (Fort Knox mine, Alaska) were not promising due to the non-linear and non-stationary nature of the process characteristics. Therefore, those techniques were replaced with some innovative data mining techniques when the focus shifted to Pogo Mine, where the task was to detect calibration errors in strip vessel temperature sensors in the carbon stripping circuit. The new techniques used data from two strip vessel temperature sensors (S1 and S2), four heat exchanger related temperature sensors (H1 through H4), barren flow sensor (BARNFL) and a glycol flow sensor (GLYFL). These eight sensors were deemed to be part of the same process. To detect when the calibration of one of the strip vessel temperature sensors, S1, started to stray, tests were designed to detect changes in relationship between the eight temperature sensors. Data was filtered ("threshold") based on process characteristics prior to being used in tests. The tests combined basic concepts such as moving windows of time, ratios (ratio of one sensor data to data from a set of sensors), tracking of maximum values, etc. Error was triggered when certain rules were violated. A 2% error was randomly introduced into one of the two strip vessel temperature data streams to simulate calibration errors. Some tests were less effective than others at detecting the simulated errors. The tests that used GLYFL and BARNFL were not very effective. On the other hand, the tests that used total "Heat" of all the heat exchanger sensors were very effective. When the tests were administered together ("Combined test"), they have a high success rate (95%) in terms of True alarms, i.e., tests detecting bias after it is introduced. In those True alarms, for 75% of the cases, the introduction of the error was detected within 39.5 days. A -2% random error was detected with a similar success rate.
    • Beneficiation of rare earth minerals from Bokan Mountain: Dotson Ridge ore

      Narantsetseg, Purevbaatar; Наранцэцэг, Пүрэвбаатар; Ganguli, Rajive; Ghosh, Tathagata; Akdogan, Guven (2014-12)
      The purpose of this research work was to study the beneficiation of rare earth ore of the Bokan Mountain -- Dotson Ridge deposit, located near Ketchikan, Alaska. Rare earth element (REE) composite ore samples from the Bokan Mountain -- Dotson Ridge deposit were tested using gravity concentration, magnetic separation, flotation, and leaching techniques to separate the REE. The composite ore sample was a product of a preliminary x-ray sorting process. Qualitative electron microprobe analysis of the ore showed that most of the REE minerals in the ore were silicate minerals. Since the electron microprobe analysis samples were coated with carbon during sample preparation, the carbon element was inactivated for analysis. Because of this, carbonate compounds of minerals' particles could not be detected. 95% of the REE mineral particles appear to be smaller than about 10 μm in size (about 100 μm² in area). For the gravity concentration, light rare earth elements (LREE) and heavy rare earth elements' (HREE) individual elemental recovery values were in the ranges of 49.6-52.8% and 46.3-48.8%, respectively, at 25% of mass yield. In order to separate a larger amount of the REE, a wet high intensity magnetic separation (WHIMS) test was carried out on tailings of the gravity concentration tests. The HREE individual elemental recovery values ranged from 56.3-63.1% at 37% mass yield, while LREE individual elemental recovery values were in the 57.9% - 59.1% range. For the combined gravity and magnetic separation processes, the net individual elemental recovery values of the LREE and the HREE were in the range of 79.6-80.5% and 76.5-80.9%, respectively. The combined mass yield of the gravity and magnetic separation processes was 3%. Direct leaching tests conducted on the composite ground ore feed yielded high individual elemental recovery values of 90-92% of the LREE. The HREE individual elemental recovery values ranged from 56.5-87.3%. In the leaching, 20% HCl was used in the 1st and 2nd stages with a duration of 2 hrs in each stage at 90°C. The solid percentage of the leach slurry was 20% w/w. The composite ground ore sample was tested in conventional flotation using a 2.0 L capacity Denver cell. In the flotation, 0.05 kg/tonne of Cytec Aero 6493 collector, 0.05 kg/tonne of Cytec Aero Froth 88, and 0.1 kg/tonne of sodium metasilicate as a depressant were used. Pulp pH was set around 9. Results showed individual elemental recovery values in the range of 44.6-50.4% or the LREE. The HREE individual elemental recovery values ranged from 27.9-44.5%. The mass yield of the flotation was 23%. The flotation recoveries reported here are significantly lower than what was achieved previously. For the Leach after flotation process, leaching was conducted on the first concentrate of flotation. Individual elemental recovery values of the LREE and HREE were 94.7-96.5% and 61.1-90.5%, respectively. The concentrate was leached using 20% HCl in both the 1st and 2nd stages, with a duration of 2 hrs in each stage at 90°C. Flotation/Leach process net recoveries of LREE by individual elemental values ranged from 42.2-48.5%. HREE net recoveries by individual elemental values ranged from 17.1-41.4%.
    • Calibration of an on-line analyzer using neural network modeling

      Yu, Shaohai (2003-08)
      The goal of the project was to predict the ash content of raw coal in real time using the Americium-137 and Cesium-241 scintillation counts from an on-line analyzer. Rather than regression methods (that are current industrial practice), neural networks were used to map the scintillation counts to percentage ash. Quick stop training was used to prevent overfitting The noise and sparseness of the data required that the training, calibration and prediction subsets are statistically similar to each other. Therefore, Kohonen networks were first used to detect the features present in the data set. Three subsets were then built such that they had representative members from each feature. Neural network models were developed for the screened coal, the unscreened coal and the combined data respectively. The results show that the performance of the combined model was comparable to the performance with two different models for the screened and unscreened data. Due to the variance in the sample data, the neural networks (screened, unscreened and combined) did not predict individual samples well. The network predictions were, however, accurate on the average. Compared to the common regression approach, neural network modeling demonstrated much better performance in ash prediction based on certain criteria.
    • Comprehensive Investigation Into Historical Pipeline Construction Costs And Engineering Economic Analysis Of Alaska In-State Gas Pipeline

      Rui, Zhenhua; Metz, Paul; Chen, Gang; Zhou, Xiyu; Reynolds, Douglas (2011)
      This study analyzes historical cost data of 412 pipelines and 220 compressor stations. On the basis of this analysis, the study also evaluates the feasibility of an Alaska in-state gas pipeline using Monte Carlo simulation techniques. Analysis of pipeline construction costs shows that component costs, shares of cost components, and learning rates for material and labor costs vary by diameter, length, volume, year, and location. Overall average learning rates for pipeline material and labor costs are 6.1% and 12.4%, respectively. Overall average cost shares for pipeline material, labor, miscellaneous, and right of way (ROW) are 31%, 40%, 23%, and 7%, respectively. Regression models are developed to estimate pipeline component costs for different lengths, cross-sectional areas, and locations. An analysis of inaccuracy in pipeline cost estimation demonstrates that the cost estimation of pipeline cost components is biased except for in the case of total costs. Overall overrun rates for pipeline material, labor, miscellaneous, ROW, and total costs are 4.9%, 22.4%, -0.9%, 9.1%, and 6.5%, respectively, and project size, capacity, diameter, location, and year of completion have different degrees of impacts on cost overruns of pipeline cost components. Analysis of compressor station costs shows that component costs, shares of cost components, and learning rates for material and labor costs vary in terms of capacity, year, and location. Average learning rates for compressor station material and labor costs are 12.1% and 7.48%, respectively. Overall average cost shares of material, labor, miscellaneous, and ROW are 50.6%, 27.2%, 21.5%, and 0.8%, respectively. Regression models are developed to estimate compressor station component costs in different capacities and locations. An investigation into inaccuracies in compressor station cost estimation demonstrates that the cost estimation for compressor stations is biased except for in the case of material costs. Overall average overrun rates for compressor station material, labor, miscellaneous, land, and total costs are 3%, 60%, 2%, -14%, and 11%, respectively, and cost overruns for cost components are influenced by location and year of completion to different degrees. Monte Carlo models are developed and simulated to evaluate the feasibility of an Alaska in-state gas pipeline by assigning triangular distribution of the values of economic parameters. Simulated results show that the construction of an Alaska in-state natural gas pipeline is feasible at three scenarios: 500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), 750 mmcfd, and 1000 mmcfd.
    • Correlation of microstructure and thermo-mechanical properties of a novel hydrogen transport membrane

      Zhang, Yongjun; 张咏君; Bandopadhyay, Sukumar; Trainor, Tom; Balachandran, Uthamalingam; Nag, Nagendra (2014-05)
      A key part of the FutureGen concept is to support the production of hydrogen to fuel a 'hydrogen economy,' with the use of clean burning hydrogen in power-producing fuel cells, as well as for use as a transportation fuel. One of the key technical barriers to FutureGen deployment is reliable and efficient hydrogen separation technology. Most Hydrogen Transport Membrane (HTM) research currently focuses on separation technology and hydrogen flux characterization. No significant work has been performed on thermo-mechanical properties of HTMs. The objective of the thesis is to understand the structure-property correlation of HTM and to characterize (1) thermo mechanical properties under different reducing environments and thermal cycles (thermal shock), and (2) evaluate the stability of the novel HTM material. A novel HTM cermet bulk sample was characterized for its physical and mechanical properties at both room temperature and at elevated temperature up to 1000°C. Microstructural properties and residual stresses were evaluated in order to understand the changing mechanism of the microstructure and its effects on the mechanical properties of materials. A correlation of the microstructural and thermo mechanical properties of the HTM system was established for both HTM and the substrate material. Mechanical properties of both selected structural ceramics and the novel HTM cermet bulk sample are affected mainly by porosity and microstructural features, such as grain size and pore size-distribution. The Young's Modulus (E-value) is positively correlated to the flexural strength for materials with similar crystallographic structure. However, for different crystallographic materials, physical properties are independent of mechanical properties. Microstructural properties, particularly, grain size and crystallographic structure, and thermodynamic properties are the main factors affecting the mechanical properties at both room and high temperatures. The HTM cermet behaves more like an elastic material at room temperature and as a ductile material at temperature above 850°C. The oxidation and the plasticity of Pd phase mainly affected the mechanical properties of HTM cermet at high temperature, also as a result of thermal cycling. Residual stress induced in the HTM by thermo cycles also plays a very critical role in defining the thermo-mechanical properties.
    • Development of a methodology for the characterization of mafic rocks with respect to their use for mineral carbonation: the mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry of the Portage Lake Volcanics in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan

      Bolz, Patrizia; Metz, Paul; Darrow, Margaret; Newberry, Rainer (2014-05)
      Mineral carbonation of basalt has been proposed by various researchers to reduce anthropogenic CO₂ output without necessitating considerable reduction of fossil fuel usage. The feasibility of any mafic rock for mineral carbonation depends on the present mineralogy, texture, grain size, and alteration. The purpose of this research is the development of a methodology for the characterization of mafic rocks regarding their susceptibility for mineral carbonation, based on samples from mine tailings in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan. Samples were characterized using petrographic examination, microprobe analyses, whole rock data, and thermodynamic modeling. Thin section analyses revealed several alteration assemblages ranging from relatively fresh samples to extremely altered samples. End-members of minerals present in the study area were used for thermodynamic modeling. Based on thermodynamics, anorthite, prehnite, and diopside are the most feasible minerals for carbonation, minerals potentially viable include forsterite, enstatite, talc, clinochlore, and phengite. To determine feasible minerals for carbonation, kinetic modeling should be conducted to establish minerals with realistic reaction rates. The approach outlined in this study can be used as an inexpensive and expeditious method to determine mafic samples most feasible for mineral carbonation based on thermodynamic modeling. Not all mafic rocks should be treated as basalts, nor are all mafic rocks equally feasible for mineral carbonation.
    • Dynamic simulator for a grinding circuit

      Srivastava, Vaibhav; Ganguli, Rajive; Ghosh, Tathagata; Akdogan, Guven; Darrow, Margaret (2017-08)
      The grinding circuit is a primary and indispensable unit of a mineral processing plant. The product from a grinding circuit affects the recovery rate of minerals in subsequent downstream processes and governs the amount of concentrate produced. Because of the huge amount of energy required during the grinding operation, they contribute to a major portion of the concentrator cost. This makes grinding a crucial process to be considered for optimization and control. There are numerous process variables that are monitored and controlled during a grinding operation. The variables in a grinding circuit are highly inter-related and the intricate interaction among them makes the process difficult to understand from an operational viewpoint. Modeling and simulation of grinding circuits have been used by past researchers for circuit design and pre-flowsheet optimization in terms of processing capacity, recovery rate, and product size distribution. However, these models were solved under steady approximation and did not provide any information on the system in real time. Hence, they cannot be used for real time optimization and control purposes. Therefore, this research focuses on developing a dynamic simulator for a grinding circuit. The Matlab/Simulink environment was used to program the models of the process units that were interlinked to produce the flowsheet of a grinding circuit of a local gold mine operating in Alaska. The flowsheet was simulated under different operating conditions to understand the behavior of the circuit. The explanation for such changes has also been discussed. The dynamic simulator was then used in designing a neural network based controller for the semi-autogenous mill (SAG). A two-layer non-linear autoregressive (NARX) neural network with feed to the mill as exogenous input was designed using data generated by the simulator for a range of operating conditions. Levenberg-Marquardt (LM) and Bayesian Regularization (BR) training algorithms were used to train the network. Comparison of both algorithms showed LM performed better provided the number of parameters in the network were chosen in a prudent manner. Finally, the implementation of the controller for maintaining SAG mill power to a reference point is discussed.
    • Engineering economic analysis of a rail extension from Dunbar siding to Livengood, Alaska

      Bohart, Charles W.; Metz, Paul A.; Huang, Scott L.; Misra, Debasmita (2011-12)
      The Dunbar Siding to Livengood rail extension study is an economic prefeasibility investigation, and is conducted from two perspectives as a cost benefit analysis. The first perspective is, that of the Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) in which the capital and operating costs of the proposed extension are recovered through the revenue stream resulting from the out-bound mineral freight loads, the in-bound re-supply freight loads, and the potential commuter passenger service to mining projects and communities in the Livengood area. The second perspective is that of the private sector in which a shipping sensitivity and employee transport analysis with respect to mining project developments. The large mineral resource base within the Dunbar-Livengood Corridor indicates an excellent freight potential with generous benefits for Alaska's economy of greater than $2 billion annually in gross revenues; whereas, resource and rail development are synergistic.
    • Enhanced bioweathering of coal for rare earth element extraction and concentration

      Sachan, Ankur; Ghosh, Tathagata; Briggs, Brandon; Ganguli, Rajive; Aggarwal, Srijan (2019-05)
      Rare earth elements (REEs) are a group of seventeen elements that include scandium, yttrium, and fifteen of the lanthanide series elements, which are used in a variety of consumer goods and for defense purposes. Acquiring a domestic profitable source of REEs is a critical national need as most of the global supply comes from one country, China. To counter this problem, the US is actively looking at alternative sources of REEs by implementing unconventional methods of extraction. Coal is one of the alternative sources of REEs. Alaskan coal from Wishbone Hill and Healy are known to contain REEs up to 286 ppm and 524 ppm, respectively, while having concentrations as high as 950 ppm on ash basis in some density fractions. Microbial leaching or bioleaching is a novel method that can be used for extraction of REEs from coal as microbes are known to affect earth's surface over geologic time by playing critical roles in weathering of minerals. A certain species of bacteria, Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, was used to separate the REEs from Wishbone Hill and Healy coal samples. The experiments were performed for various density fractions of both coals by varying solids percentage, temperature, size of coal, and bacterial concentration, and recovery of REEs for these conditions was recorded. Highest individual recovery of neodymium, 75.3%, was obtained for Wishbone Hill 1.3 floats, while a maximum of 98.4% total REE recovery was obtained for Healy 1.3 sinks. Healy coal has the higher total recovery of REEs in comparison to Wishbone Hill coal. Bioleaching process was also compared to the acid leaching process. Healy coal responded better to bioleaching than the acid leaching process. The Wishbone Hill coal had comparable recoveries of bioleaching with acid leaching, although they were always less than acid leaching.
    • Enhancement of algorithm for detection of gold strip circuit vessel sensor errors

      de Melo, Eduardo Pimenta; Ganguli, Rajive; Ghosh, Tathagata; Arya, Sampurna (2019-08)
      Sensors are used to understand the condition and flow of mineral processes. Having accurate and precise information is fundamental for proper operation. Even small errors are relevant to cost when considering the operational span of a mine. Finding small errors is hard; few algorithms can detect them and fewer still, when considering errors on the scale of 2% in magnitude. Some tools have recently been developed using data mining techniques for detecting small errors. Rambabu Pothina (2017) created an algorithm for detecting small errors in strip vessel temperature sensors in the carbon stripping circuit in Pogo mine. The algorithm performed well and was able to detect small magnitude errors without disrupting the industrial process. This thesis improves the understanding of the performance of the algorithm, while also making some minor changes. First, a statistical analysis of the results of the algorithm on baseline data revealed an inherent difference in how the carbon strip process was run with respect to the two strip vessels. This discovery provided insight into the algorithm, and how its performance depended on process characteristics. Second, the error detection algorithm was tested under scenarios different from Pothina (2017). Three separate types of errors were artificially added to real data: a) a fixed 2% ("fixed" error increase) b) a fixed 2% decrease ("fixed" error decrease) and c) an error with a mean value of 2% of magnitude ("noisy" error). Additionally, error was added to temperature data from each strip vessel (rather than just one), though only one at a time. The algorithm was tested under each scenario for each of the four years, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The time to detect errors ranged from 19 to 73 days. The time to detect was very high (53 to 73 days) in 2017 since there were large data gaps that year. In general, time to detect was about 30 days. The performance under noisy error were not that far below fixed error scenario. The algorithm took 10% more time to detect errors under noisy error scenario compared to fixed error scenario. On average, the algorithm detected an error after 25 cycles, regardless of the time span this represents. This is consistent in years with plentiful data, such as 2015, as well as years with less data, 2017 and 2018. In years with data gaps, 25 cycles represent a longer time period. Seeded errors that decreased vessel temperature have very similar results to its equivalent increase, i.e. the decrease in 2% of S2 has results similar to the increase of 2% in S1 and vice versa. In conclusion, these additional testing and analysis helped develop a more comprehensive understanding of the behavior of the data and the algorithms. These results validate and strengthen the findings of Pothina (2017).
    • Environment, health and safety management in mining and other industries

      Yoon, Seok J.; 윤석준; Lin, Hsing K.; Walsh, Daniel E.; Barnes, David L.; Chen, Gang (2014-05)
      While environment and health and safety may appear to be two different areas, they may be integrated into Environment, Health and Safety (EHS). This study is to investigate the impact of the environment and Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) on health and safety. Three case studies were conducted. The first one is to study the impact of abandoned mines on soils, water and crops. The second one is to examine the effect of OHSMS implementation on reducing occupational safety risk. The third one examines the impact of environment on health. The abstracts of these three case studies are as follows: THE INVESTIGATION OF ARSENIC AND HEAVY METAL CONCENTRATIONS IN SOIL, WATER AND CROPS AROUND ABANDONED METAL MINES. Soils, water and crops around abandoned metal mines can be contaminated by heavy metals from adjacent tailings and waste rocks accumulated during mining operations. The results indicate that the As, Zn, Cd and Cr concentrations exceed the soil contamination standard in many soil samples of the nearby farmlands as well as the tailings sites. In the case of water quality, the As concentrations in the Okgae and Youngchen Mines show a decreasing trend with increasing distance from the mine, which is similar to that of the soil samples. The Cd and Pb concentrations in the crops near the Okgae Mine show a decreasing trend with increasing distance from the mine which is also similar to that of soil samples. In addition, the Cd and Pb concentrations in the rice samples and the Cd concentration in the corn samples increase with the Cd and/or Pb concentrations in the soil. EFFECT OF OHSMS ON WORK-RELATED ACCIDENT RATE AND DIFFERENCES OF OHSMS AWARENESS BETWEEN MANAGERS IN SOUTH KOREA's CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY. The study was conducted to investigate the status of the occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) in the construction industry and the effect of OHSMS on accident rates. Differences of awareness levels on safety issues among site general managers and occupational health and safety (OHS) managers are identified through surveys. The accident rates for the OHSMS-certified construction companies from 2006 to 2011, when the construction OHSMS became widely available, were analyzed to understand the effect of OHSMS on the work-related injury rates in the construction industry. The Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA) 18001 is the certification to these companies performing OHSMS in South Korea. The questionnaire was created to analyze the differences of OHSMS awareness between site general managers and OHS managers of construction companies. The implementation of OHSMS among the top 100 construction companies in South Korea shows that the accident rate decreased by 67% and the fatal accident rate decreased by 10.3% during the period from 2006 to 2011. The survey in this study shows different OHSMS awareness levels between site general managers and OHS managers. The differences were motivation for developing OHSMS, external support needed for implementing OHSMS, problems and effectiveness of implementing OHSMS. Both work-related accident and fatal accident rates were found to be significantly reduced by implementing OHSMS in this study. The differences of OHSMS awareness between site general managers and OHS managers were identified through a survey. The effect of these differences on safety and other benefits warrants further research with proper data collection. THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN CHILDHOOD ASTHMA AND RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL RISK FACTORS THROUGH CASE-CONTROL STUDY IN ANDONG, KOREA. Using the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) questionnaire, we surveyed the childhood asthma prevalence and related socioeconomic and residential environment on 887 elementary schoolchildren in Andong, Korea. We selected asthma case group (29) and control group (26) and performed the exposure assessment for the personal exposure for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde level for 3 days. As a result, 814 schoolchildren completed the questionnaire. It was found that the asthma prevalence was 19.9% and gender (male, OR; Odds Ratio=1.55), age (younger, OR=1.60), family history of asthma (OR=3.70), passive smoking (OR=1.53), and odor from nearby house (OR=2.01) were affective factors. There was no significant difference between the case and control groups in VOCs and formaldehyde exposure level. In the logistic regression analysis, family income (aOR; adjusted OR =3.20, 95% CI=1.41-7.24) and amount of house sunlight (aOR=2.14, 95% CI; Confidence Interval =1.00-4.58) were significant after adjusting gender, age, and family history of asthma. In conclusion, socioeconomic factors including family income and residential environmental factors such as passive smoking, odor from nearby household, and amount of house sunlight are associated with the prevalence of childhood asthma.
    • Experimental and numerical simulation of hydraulic fracturing

      Hoveidafar, Mohammad; Chen, Gang; Metz, Paul; Ahn, Il Sang; Zhang, Yin (2017-12)
      Hydraulic Fracturing (HF) has many applications in different fields such as stimulation of oil and gas reservoirs, in situ stress measurements, stress relief for tunneling projects as well as in underground mining applications such as block caving mining. In the HF process, high pressure fluid is injected into a well to generate fractures in tight rock formations. This technique is particularly suitable for developing hydrocarbon energy resources in tight rock formations such as shale with very low permeability. An experimental setup was designed and developed to simulate the HF process in the laboratory. Cubic plaster specimens were molded and HF experiments were conducted with simulated plaster models. Five laboratory tests were performed on cubic specimens under different stress conditions. Because the uniaxial compressive strength of the plaster was about 1600 psi, in all experiments the applied vertical stress was 1000 psi to avoid breaking the specimens before injection of fluid. The differential horizontal stress varied from 100 to 500 psi. These stress levels are related to shallow formations in a real environment. It was observed that increasing the differential horizontal stress by 100 psi, the minimum pressure required to initiate HF decreases about 100 psi. These results were in agreement by 2D failure criterion of HF. All in all, the small scale HF experiments were conducted successfully in the rock mechanics lab. It was observed that vertical hydraulic fractures would propagate along maximum horizontal stress, which is in agreement with propagation of HF theory. Three-dimensional (3D) numerical models were developed and computer simulations were conducted with ABAQUS, a commercially available finite element analysis (FEA) software. The numerical simulation results compared favorably with those from the laboratory experiments, and verification and analysis were carried out. Since the results obtained from the numerical model were in agreement with the results of experiments and verified the correctness of the model, further investigation was carried out with developed computer models. Several scenarios with different vertical stresses and different levels of horizontal stress were simulated. A statistical software, R, was used to generate a 3D failure criterion for the HF in shallow formations.... It can be stated that in shallow formations, vertical stress has the least effect among stress components on the minimum pressure required to initiate HF.
    • Experimental And Numerical Study Of Sonic Wave Propagation In Freezing Sand And Silt

      Li, Hui (2009)
      A numerical model for delineating the temperature-velocity relationship of freezing porous media and soil is developed in Matlab based on Leclaire's Biot-type three-phase theory. Leclaire's theory gives lower sonic velocities than the experimental results because it does not take into consideration the effect of the solid-ice frame when water is freezing. To take the solid-ice effective frame into account, the average bulk and shear moduli estimation are modified with a proposed procedure. The modification gives higher P-wave and S-wave velocities that fit experimental data well. A comprehensive suite of physical and acoustic laboratory experiments are conducted on artificial sands, sand-clay mixtures and Fairbanks silts to investigate the temperature-velocity relationship during the freezing process and the effects of grain size and fine clay content. A Multi-channel ultrasonic scanning system (MUSS) is designed, installed and programmed for the experimental computerized ultrasonic tomography (CUST) study. The inward and outward freezing process and freezing front development in Fairbanks silt samples are observed using computerized ultrasonic tomography (CUST) in the laboratory. The experiments generate sonic wave velocity and temperature distribution during the freezing process. The freezing front is clearly identified in the CUST as a function of time and temperature. Comprehensive numerical finite element method (FEM) simulations, which account for the conduction in porous media, the latent heat effect and the nonlinear thermal properties of soil, are performed on the inward and outward freezing process of Fairbanks silt based on the experimental conditions. In conjunction with the temperature-velocity model developed in the study, sonic wave velocity tomograms are generated. The results are comparable with those obtained by CUST. The study indicates that CUST is an effective method for studying freezing processes and has potential for indirect measurement of unfrozen water content variations in the soil without interfering with the freezing process.
    • An experimental investigation of natural freezing and biopolymers for permeability modification to reduce the volume of dense non-aqueous phase liquids in groundwater

      D'Cunha, Neil John (2004-12)
      Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL) contamination is one of the major environmental concerns today. DNAPL can remain in significant quantities as residual contaminants in the low permeability zones even after the bulk phase has been removed. As the drive fluid sweeps through the aquifer it follows the path of least resistance, which is the high permeability zone. Thus the contaminants trapped in the low permeability zones remain as residuals and serve as a source for prolonged contamination. Conventional remediation techniques are ill-equipped to deal with the heterogeneities of the aquifers. Various techniques to enhance the efficiency of the conventional methods are tried without significant success. Reducing the temperature of soil formations can modify aquifer flow paths. The natural freezing of soils in winter may be used effectively to modify the flow paths. In summer, permeability modification can be accomplished by emplacement of microbial polymer gels. In this thesis, we have investigated using a laboratory scale one dimensional column experiment, a novel technique to reduce the volume of residual DNAPL using a combination of natural freezing in winter and biopolymer in summer.
    • Exploration and estimation of gravel resource potential in southeast Chukchi Sea continental shelf off Kivalina, Alaska

      D'Souza, Abhijith T. (2005-12)
      Frequent storm surges in the Alaskan arctic result in washovers and high erosion of barrier islands. The village council of Kivalina has resolved to relocate from its present location on a barrier island in Northwest arctic Alaska to an adjacent onshore site. The relocation plan envisages excavation of upper 4 meter of the 25 km² onshore permafrost ground and construction of a foundation pad. The objective of this research is to estimate the gravel resource potential in the continental shelf off Kivalina. In this context seismic surveys and sediment sampling were conducted. The seismic surveys were of limited use as they failed to resolve the upper 1-2 m of the seafloor. The lithostratigraphy indicated dominance of the 2.4-3.4 mm size fraction in the region north of Kivalina. The geostatistical analysis indicated an omnidirectional variogram fit to the data with ordinary kriging producing the best kriging estimate of the gravel resource potential. At least 20 x 10⁶ m³ of gravel above the 90 % cut-off is present in the upper 0.5 m of the seafloor. The regional Pleistocene glaciation has affected the lateral variations in gravel abundance in the nearshore southeast Chukchi Sea.
    • Froth flotation characterization and processing plant design for the platiniferous and auriferous marine sediments of Southwestern Alaska

      Bissue, Charles (2007-12)
      The purpose of this study was to characterize, and investigate the beneficiation of, the platiniferous and auriferous marine sediments of Southwestern Alaska, located near Platinum, Alaska. The majority of placer gold particles are contained in the 50 x 150 mesh size fraction, while the platinum is finer, residing in the 100 x 200 mesh size fraction. Liberated placer gold and placer platinum group metals (PGM) particles are visible to the naked eye and readily observed under a binocular microscope. Preliminary, qualitative microprobe analysis of PGM grains from the flotation concentrate showed grains of nearly pure iridium, isoferroplatinum and Pt-Rh-Ir-Fe-S-As mineralogy. Froth flotation showed that placer gold responded very well to all the collectors used, with gold recoveries of 82.7-99.8%. Flotation of platinum responded well to only potassium amyl xanthate, with a recovery of 80.4%. Results of low intensity magnetic separation showed that virtually all the liberated gold and platinum reported to the non magnetic product. A flowsheet, with estimated capital and operating costs, was developed to process 1500 tph of marine placer feed. Annualized costs per ton to process marine sediments were estimated to be $2.40 to $3.72 depending upon plant availability, 90% to 50%, respectively.
    • Geodatabase development and GIS based analysis for resource assessment of placer platinum in the offshore region of Goodnews Bay, Alaska

      Oommen, Thomas (2006-12)
      Goodnews Bay, southwest Alaska, is known for extensive Pt reserves that have their source in the neighboring Red Mountain. The reserves potentially extend offshore into the Bering Sea. This study aims at developing a geodatabase to integrate all offshore platinum related data collected by researchers and agencies in the past, with the intent to identify data gaps. Based on these data gaps 49 new areas were sampled for Pt and geophysical data were collected in summer 2005. Spatial distribution map for offshore Pt was created using a new Multiple Regression Pattern Recognition Technique (MRPRT) that gave an R²=0.76, a significant improvement from standard GIS based geospatial techniques. Four potential Pt exploration areas were delineated, including one area where drowned ultramafics and buried alluvial channels co-occur. Coastal currents influenced the surficial platinum accumulations, and no clear relation between Pt distribution and sand bars in the far offshore could be established.
    • Gis-Based Approaches To Slope Stability Analysis And Earthquake -Induced Landslide Hazard Zonation

      Luo, Huayang; Zhou, Wendy (2006)
      This dissertation presents newly developed GIS-based deterministic and probabilistic approaches for slope stability analysis and earthquake-induced landslide hazard zonation. The described approaches combine numerical slope stability analysis with GIS spatial analysis to evaluate earthquake-induced slope failures, both shallow and deep-seated. The study has four major research components. The first component is a GIS-based procedure which was developed based on one-, two-, and three-dimensional (1D, 2D, and 3D) deterministic approaches to slope stability analysis and landslide hazard zonation. Slope stability methods in the GIS-based procedure included the infinite slope model, the block sliding model, the ordinary method of slices, the Bishop simplified method, and the Hovland's column method. The second component focuses on causative factors analysis of earthquake-induced landslide hazards. This component also discusses the determination of peak ground acceleration for slope stability analysis. The third component consists of an evaluation of the topographic effect of ground motion and the seismic response in the Balsamo Ridge area in Nueva San Salvador. The fourth component is concerned with the regional and site-specific landslide hazard zonation, using newly developed models for landslide hazard assessment in Nueva San Salvador. The slope stability and landslide susceptibility were mapped in terms of slope stability index (factor of safety, critical acceleration, Newmark displacement, failure probability, and reliability index). The landslides triggered by an earthquake on January 13, 2001 in El Salvador provide a setting for the calibration of results from GIS-based approaches. The procedures developed in this research proved to be feasible and cost-effective for slope stability analysis and earthquake-induced landslide hazard zonation.