Recent advances in fine coal beneficiation

Rao, T. C.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
The quantum of coal fines below 6 mm in run-of-mine (ROM) coal has been increasing due to progressive mechanization of mining methods which has created a substantial incentive, worldwide, to develop suitable fine coal beneficiation techniques. The majority of the efforts have been directed toward reduction in ash/sulfur contents in clean coal. The beneficiation techniques may be broadly grouped as those based on specific gravity and surface property. The processes, which use heavy medium cyclone, water-only cyclone, concentrating tables, and spirals, belong to the former group while the latter group encompasses froth flotation, column flotation, oleo- flotation, and oil agglomeration. In almost all the gravity based techniques, it has been noted that a classification step prior to beneficiation is essential for effective treatment. In general, the effect of design and process variables on the performance of these units and also the quantification of the processes have been the main areas of research and development. In froth flotation, efforts throughout the world have been mainly to understand the effect of variables and to optimize the process. Quantification of the process has been attempted through kinetic studies and mathematical modeling. The efforts have led to the development of new reagents, machine designs, and flowsheets for a specified objective. The attempts so far with the column flotation and oleoflotation processes have indicated a great potential. Extensive R&D efforts are in progress to understand as well as to commercialize the processes. The efforts in the oil agglomeration process have been toward substantiating the inherent merits of the process by developing cheaper bridging liquids and technology to recover and reuse the oil to make the process commercially viable. Modeling of the process has also been attempted to predict the yield and size distribution of the agglomerates. This paper reviews and summarizes the recent developments in the science and technology of fine coal beneficiation processes. The current trends in R%D efforts for these processes are also highlighted.
Full Article Download:
(784 kb)