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|I have been following the discussions on coal degradation started by the article "Degradation process in coal slurry pipe-lines," by M.G. Ayat and B.C. Scott. I agree with Mr. Dasher's comments in January that the title of the article was perhaps misleading as the information appeared to pertain more to processing the coal than to transportation. Specifically, the authors' conclude that the cyclone had an important impact on the degradation. Dr. Ferri's comments on degradation in other physical processes was very correct, handling of coal in a turbulent manner has an impact on the size distribution of the coal. This is one reason that when I design a coal system (mine to rail car) I try to minimize the total number of transfer and processing steps consistent with achieving the desired product specifications. Another area, mentioned in passing in the article, the impact of natural causes and the mining step, is of particular interest to me. A mine in West Virginia had a variation of 50% in the -6.35 mm (-0.25 in.) raw coal depending upon the direction of mining. Since it was a single unit mine, this significantly impacted the final product. Two articles on mining's impact on size distribution are: • Stefanko, R., Chopra, I. K., and Ramani, R. V., 1974, "Mining influence on size consistency and washability char¬acteristics of coal," SME Fall Meeting. September; and • Albrecht, M., and Olsen, D., 1980, "Mining methods impact on coal preparation plant design." 1st International Mine Planning and Development Symposium. September. Both articles presented information on variation of size distribution and cleaning plant performance on a coal depending on the mining method used. Both articles considered a single coal seam at one mining operation. Stefanko's article considered continuous and conventional mining of coal in Pennsylvania. Albrecht's article considered surface, underground continuous, and underground hydraulic mining of a coal in British Columbia. Both concluded that mining methods do impact coal characteristics. I agree with Mr. Ayat's comments in reply to Dr. Ferri's discussion, "... degradation is a multi-faceted phenomenon involving many natural and man-made factors." As efforts are being made to produce a higher quality (lower sulfur) coal, this topic becomes even more important|