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|INTRODUCTION In the early days of coarse-coal cleaning by the dense-medium process in Europe, loess was one of the materials used for medium solids. Newly developed cyclones were used to reclaim and thicken the loess suspension. On occasion, when the cyclone thickener at the Maurits mine in the Netherlands plugged, the overflow was found to be filled with clean coal free of impurity. From this observation stemmed the concept of the cyclone as a cleaning device. Development took place during World War II in the laboratory of the Dutch State Mines under the direction of M. G. Driessen. A 15-tph (13.6 t/h) pilot plant was in operation in the laboratory by 1945, when, in September, Driessen made the first public disclosure of the process in a paper presented to the Institute of Fuel in London.51 In April 1945, operation of this pilot plant was observed by H. F. Yancey, who was so impressed with the potential of the cyclone process that, on his return to the United States, a research program on the cyclone was immediately started by the US Bureau of Mines (USBM). This work led to an AIME paper in 1946 in which the first details of cyclone operation on American coals were made available.52 Commercial adoption of the cyclone proceeded in Europe, initially in the Netherlands, Germany, and France. In the United States, where coal is less costly and most of the coals are easy to clean and respond well to simpler cleaning processes, the first cyclone plant was not built until 1961.53 THEORY Before discussing the theory of a dense-medium cyclone, a brief description may be helpful to some readers who are not familiar with its basic operation. In a typical dense-medium cyclone, illustrated in Fig.7-51 a mixture of medium and raw coal enters tangentially near the top of the cylindrical section, thus forming a strong vortical flow. The refuse moves along the wall of the cyclone and is discharged through the underflow orifice. The washed coal moves toward the longitudinal axis of the cyclone and passes through the overflow orifice, or vortex finder, to the overflow chamber. Washed coal is discharged from this chamber, usually through a tangential outlet.|