Investigations Into The Reduction Of Moisture In Fine Coal By Plant Tests With Surfactants

Nkolele, A.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2004
Paper written on project work carried out in partial fulfilment of B. Tech (Metallurgical Engineering) degree Fine coal of the Goedehoop Colliery is dewatered by centrifuging before being sold. Full-scale plant tests were carried out to reduce residual cake moisture by the addition of surfactants. It is believed that by modifying the interface between the coal surface and the adherent surface water, as well as the water occluded in the cake voids, drainage is improved. Two anionic surfactants at concentrations up to 150 g/t were tested on coal of <0.5 mm size. The results demonstrate that quite high additions of surfactant (80 g/t)were needed to reduce moisture from 20 to about 17?18%. It was observed that when increasing surfactant additions at low levels, within a very narrow concentration range, the retained moisture first increased sharply only to decrease sharply immediately thereafter; this effect points to a critical surfactant concentration. Based on the obtained results, the use of surfactants cannot be recommended at this stage; further investigations under more controlled conditions are required.
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