Characterization of hydrothermally dried low-rank coals

Walsh, D. E. ; Mokka, J. R. ; Owens, H. ; Roa, P. D. ; Noirot, O.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Over a period of eight years (1989 through 1997) the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory (MIRL) at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK, has investigated the effects of temperature, residence time and particle size on the degree of low-rank coal (LRC) upgrading for a nonevaporative, hydrothermal drying process, also known as hot water drying (HWD). The following three Alaskan LRCs were used in this study: Usibelli coal (Seam No. 4) from the Nenana Coal Field, Little Tonzona coal from near McGrath, and Beluga coal from the Beluga-Yentna field on the west side of Cook Inlet. Replicated factorial tests were conducted. Experimental results indicate that most of the low-rank coal upgrading via HWD occurs rapidly within the first 10 to 20 min of residence time. Thereafter, the upgrading process slows down, and more than 100 min of additional residence time is required to produce percentage increases equivalent to what was achieved in the first 10 to 20 min. The properties of the hot water dried products were very sensitive to process temperature. Calorific value, carbon and oxygen contents, equilibrium moisture levels and Hardgrove gindabilities all appear to change linearly with temperature within the 275°C to 325°C (525°F to 61 5 OF) range.
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