Part 1 : Mechanical Dewatering

Parekh, B. K. ; Matoney, Joseph
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 82
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1991
INTRODUCTION The term "dewatering" refers to removal of water from coal. Water associated with coal can be categorized as "free or surface" and "inherent or chemically bound" moisture.' The free moisture is found on the surface of coal, in capillaries and small spaces between two or more particles. The inherent or chemically bound water is found in the interior of the coal and as part of coal structure. A significant amount of free moisture can be removed by mechanical dewatering techniques. However, inherent moisture can only be removed by applying energy intensive techniques, e.g., direct or indirect heating. Moisture in the coal offsets some of the benefits of coal cleaning. Extra water in clean coal adds to extra cost in transportation, heat lost during vaporization, and plugging of chutes. From a utility perspective, a 1 % increase in moisture can offset a 4.5% decrease in ash.2 Mechanical dewatering can be classified into two major process categories according to the principles involved, namely, 1. Sedimentation-liquid is constrained and particles move freely. 2. Filtration-particles are constrained by a medium and the liquid flows through. Each of the process categories is composed of various separation techniques shown in Fig. Equipment currently being used by the mechanical dewatering of coal of varying size ranges and final moisture content is illustrated in Fig. 8-2. This figure indicates that sizes larger than 13/, in. (37.5 mm) present no particular dewatering problem. Shaker screens of the very crudest types and designs are capable of producing these sizes at low surface moistures. High-speed vibrators are used for the intermediate sizes and can be used for smaller sizes down to 0.02 in. (0.5 mm) if high moistures (15% surface moisture or greater) can be tolerated in the product. Usually, however, the vibrator is not used below 3/, to 3/, in. (9.5 to 6.3 mm) because of the moisture associated with these fine sizes. At this level, centrifugal force is usually employed to aid dewatering. Centrifuges of various types and designs are used practically
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