In particularly dusty mines, the amount of dust in the mine atmosphere can be reduced by directing the air to flow in the same direction that the coal is being transported along the longwall face. This system is known as homotropal ventilation.
The advantages of this system are:
- The intake air at the face is cleaner
- Reduced dust exposure for workers at the face
- The pantechnicon and the belt conveyor are in seperate gate roads which permits more room in the gate roads. This can also allow narrow the width of gate roads to be driven and reduce the amount of roof support required.
The opposite of homotropal ventilation is called antitropal ventilation, in this system the coal is transported along the longwall face in the opposite direction to which the air is travelling.