Title page for ETD etd-4198-14140

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Phillips, Dennis Ivan
Author's Email Address dphil@vt.edu
URN etd-4198-14140
Title Optimum Processing of 1 mm by Zero Coal
Degree PhD
Department Mining and Minerals Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Yoon, Roe-Hoan Committee Chair
Adel, Gregory T. Committee Member
Luttrell, Gerald H. Committee Member
Palowitch, E. R. Committee Member
Wicks, Alfred L. Committee Member
  • Coal processing
  • coarse coal flotation
  • fine coal
  • column flotation
Date of Defense 1998-04-09
Availability unrestricted
Coal in the finer particle size ranges (below 1 mm) has always suffered from poor

cleaning efficiencies. This problem has been exacerbated in recent years with the increased

amount of high ash fines due to continuous mining machines and the mining of dirtier coal

seams. In the present work, it is proposed to improve overall plant efficiencies by processing

coarser coal in column flotation than is now commonly treated by that method. Column

flotation for coarse coal is supported by actual lab and plant test data that result in a full-scale

column plant installation. The fundamentals of coarse particle detachment from bubbles are

reviewed and a new simplified model is developed which better handles cubical and

rectangular coal particles.

Much of the lower efficiency of fine coal cleaning is due to poor size separation of

the fine-sized raw coal which results in misplaced high ash fines reporting to the coarser size

streams. By sending coarser material to column flotation, the finest size separation that takes

place in a plant can be as coarse as 0.5 mm or greater. The proper use of wash water in a

flotation column then becomes the best mechanism for desliming of the high ash clays. This

work quantifies the benefits of removing the high ash fines from the plant product and

increasing overall plant yield by increasing the amount of near-gravity coarse material. The

resulting yield gain is greater than that obtained from only the increased fine coal recovery.

Methods of column operation for improved coarse coal recovery are also evaluated.

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