Size Reduction

Austin, Leonard G.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 32
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1991
INTRODUCTION Run-of-mine (ROM) coal generally falls into two major groups: that from underground mining (continuous mining machines) and that from strip mining. Continuous miners produce a finer product and strip mining a coarser product that is crushed to produce the desired size. Further size reduction depends on the proposed use or uses for the coal. For example, for pulverized coal power plants as a rough general rule, the coal is ground or pulverized to 80% less than 200 mesh (0.075 mm) before it is blown into the boiler furnace as a coal-air suspension. For solvent-refined coal processes, the desired size is about <30 mesh (< 0.60 mm); in fluidized bed uses, the coal is typically < 8, in. (< 1.6 mm); for Lurgi pressure gasifiers, the desired size is 1 to 2% in. (25 to 63 mm). Coal preparation plants typically work with a coarse size fraction of 6X 1/14 in. (150X32 mm). The past decades has shown a steady increase in the tonnage of coal cleaned, 1 but it seems probable that the next decades will produce much wider applica- tion of deep coal cleaning before use and that the stages of crushing and pulverization from ROM coal to end use will be integrated with coal cleaning processes. Since different cleaning processes work better with different ranges of coal size and the degree of cleaning possible is intimately connected with the size of coal, a systems design engineer will need as much information as possible concerning the size distributions produced by different types of machines and how these can be modified by different ways of operating the machines. In general, the following questions will be of concern: 1.What type of crusher or grinder is best, or most satisfactory, for reducing a given feed size and type of coal to a desired product size? Frequently, the desired product is smaller than some nominal size, but with as few fines as possible, or the fraction in some size range has to be as high as possible. 2. How big does the machine have to be for a given throughput rate? 3. How much electrical energy (or its equivalent) is required per ton of product? 4. How does the size distribution vary with change in throughput rate, and is a control scheme necessary or desirable? 5. Can the size distribution be readily varied if desired? 6. What is the optimum way to operate a machine in a given system? This section will emphasize certain general principles which guide us in answering these questions. PARTICLE SIZING Since particle size and size distribution are the raw information with which we work, it is worthwhile to review the terminology used. In this regard, see
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