Coal preparation is an integral part of producing coal for thermal powerplants and metallurgical processing plants. Coal processing plants use various unit processes to separate gangue and ash content from mineral coal, thus increasing the specific energy content.
A flow sheet and a simulation model was established for a typical coal processing plant using Microsoft Excel. This model used the mass balance and split factors for run-of-mine (ROM) coal, tailings and water usage from a typical, generic coalmine.
The common method of coal preparation initially involves several stages of crushing to reduce the size of coal. It is then sent to the processing plant for further washing. The typical method in Australia for coarse coal material processing is the use of dense medium cyclone (DMC) (Kininmonth and Baafi, 2009). Flotation cells are used for processing of fine coal. The fine products are utilised for coking coal only. In our case study, the intended coal product is for thermal powerplants. Therefore, the fine coal processing utilised spirals instead of flotation, which is typical for the industry.
Huang, J, Haque, N, O’Brien, M,
O’Brien G and Tien, J, 2016. Development, simulation, economic and environmental
evaluation of a coal processing flow sheet, in Proceedings Life-of-Mine 2016
Conference , pp 48–51 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).