|Summary / Abstract
||In introducing to an American audience a description of the work done in dry coal separation in England and in Europe generally, it is perhaps desirable to give a short history of the development outside the United States of the particular processes with which the author is connected, and perhaps to stress a little the differences in the nature of the conditions to be faced.
England actually presents one set of problems and the Continent of Europe another, since the character of the coals to be treated is entirely dissimilar, and the attitude of the coal industries towards coal preparation is also dissimilar. England for generations has been working by hand good seams of clean coal of the highest possible quality and has not felt any pressing need to clean its coal. Most Continental countries, however, especially in Central and Western Europe, have been working friable and often very dirty coals for so long that a washery is accepted as a part of the normal equipment of a colliery, with the result that the art of wet washing has reached a high state of perfection, particularly in Belgium and Germany.
The advent of machine mining has intensified the problems to be faced in all countries, and in England has been coupled with the working out of the best seams in the older coal fields, thus bringing about the necessity of working thinner and dirtier seams with resultant difficulties as regards marketing the products, while Poland, with clean and well prepared coal, has in recent years been attacking established British markets in Scandinavia.
In recent years, therefore, interest in coal preparation has been steadily gaining ground in England, although it has not yet reached Continental dimensions. Broadly speaking, the differences in preparation problems between England and the Continent boil themselves down to one of size. In England, for example, with the exception of the Kent coal field, the proportion of coal of a size less than ? in. to the coal less than 2 in. is very much less than on the Continent, and since the principal difficulties in dry cleaning lie in the fines it is easier to produce good figures on