Mineralogical, Petrographic And Geological Controls On Coal Ash Fusion Temperature From New Clydesdale Colliery, Witbank Coalfield, South Africa

Weeber, S-L.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Ash fusion temperature is the temperature at which the mineral matter in coal begins to soften, flow and fuse. It is an important parameter relating to coal utilization. Optimum ash fusion temperatures derived from coal in the Witbank Coalfield region are approximately 1400°C, and higher, although temperatures above1300°C may be deemed acceptable. This study attempted to determine which factors, mineralogical or inorganic-chemical, influence variations in the ash fusion temperatures in certain coals. Coal was sampled from the Number 2 coal seam at opencast and underground workings at New Clydesdale Colliery, Witbank Coalfield, South Africa. The samples represented known low and high ash fusion temperature coal. Analyses performed included proximate analyses, calorific value determination, percentage sulphur, ash fusion temperatures, ash analyses (composition of ash), X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and petrographic studies. Results show that although a complex relationship exists between ash fusion temperature and the various geological and coal parameters, some positive correlative results were obtained. These indicate a possible relationship between low ash fusion temperatures and i) finer size fractions, ii) an increase in iron content present in the form of pyrite and iii) the form in which pyrite is present, namely cleats. High ash fusion temperatures tend to correlate with i) the absence of pyrite or ii) pyrite present as framboids.
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