Beasley, Charles A. ; Erten, Mehmet H. ; Gallegos, Orlando A. ; Joyce, Vince ; Beasley, David E. ; Shuman, David A.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 43
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1991
COAL CHARACARISTICS AND PREPREPARATION REQUIREMENTS Preparation and Market Specifications The national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) established by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1977 require that when coal is burned, the environmental degradation should be a minimum. For this reason, even coal containing low ash and sulfur must be used in compliance with the NAAQS. The most important pollutants resulting from the combustion of coal are ash, SO2, and NOx gases, and the particulate matter escaping with the combustion gases. The ash is the residue left after complete combustion of coal. It results from the inorganic mineral matter existing in the coal before it is burned. The SO2 results from the combustion of inorganic and organic sulfur associated with the coal. The inorganic sulfur may occur as pyrite, marcasite, or as sulfate sulfur of mostly iron and calcium. The authorities disagree in the definition of organic sulfur in the coal. However, according to ASTM Standard D2492-77,1 the organic sulfur is that sulfur occurring in the coal after subtracting the sum of pyrite and sulfatic sulfurs from the total sulfur in the coal. The NOx gases are produced from high temperature oxidation of nitrogen in the coal that is released into the atmosphere. The particulate matter may consist of fly ash and unburned coal. Selective Mining The cleaning of coal from included ash and sulfur-bearing materials should start at the working faces of surface or underground mines. This can be done by (1) mining only those seams which meet certain quality standards, (2) not mining sections of the seams which may cause deterioration in overall quality of the mined coal, and (3) using a mining method that allows selective mining of coal areas or horizons either underground or on the surface. Since these steps improve the coal quality before the coal reaches the preparation plant, they can be considered to constitute precleaning of coal. During the exploration and development stage of a mine, core and channel samples taken from the coal seam are used to determine (1) petrographic analysis and physical properties,2 (2) character of roof and floor of the seam, 3,4 (3) character and quality of impurities,5 (4) proximate and ultimate analysis, and (5) washability characteristics. However, all of these parameters are subject to considerable variation even within the same seam during the advance of the coal face. This creates a problem in meeting the market demand for coal quality if the coal is to be shipped directly from the mine. If the mining operation is large enough, special blending silos or mechanical blending systems may have to be used to provide uniform quality to the market. However, even if the coal is shipped from a coal preparation plant, prepreparation
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