Coal Surface Chemistry and its Effect on Fine Coal Processing
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 1995
All coal preparation unit operations in which fine coal is handled depend to some extent on wettability of coal surface by water. The wetting results from interactions between the coal surface and water molecules that are determined by the composition of coal matrix (interrelated with coal rank) and heterogeneous constituents such as oxygen functional groups, mineral impurities and pores. The contact angle of water on an unoxidized, homogeneous coal hydrocarbon matrix is calculated to be 100o, and much lower values measured on real coal specimens result from contributions from the heterogeneous constituents. While the effect of wettability is critical in flotation and oil agglomeration, suppression of respirable dust, and coal water fuels, it has been shown to play a significant role also in coal flocculation with semi-hydrophobic and totally hydrophobic flocculants.