The application of the coal grain analysis method to coal liberation studies

O'Brien, Graham, Firth, Bruce and Adair, Ben (2011) The application of the coal grain analysis method to coal liberation studies. International Journal of Coal Preparation and Utilization, 31 2: 96-111. doi:10.1080/19392699.2010.537995

Author O'Brien, Graham
Firth, Bruce
Adair, Ben
Title The application of the coal grain analysis method to coal liberation studies
Journal name International Journal of Coal Preparation and Utilization   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1939-2699
Publication date 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/19392699.2010.537995
Open Access Status
Volume 31
Issue 2
Start page 96
End page 111
Total pages 9
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Language eng
Subject 1909 Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
Formatted abstract
Emerging coal markets such as the use of coal for conversion to liquid fuels and its use in fuels cells and as coal water slurries in diesel engines require coal products with different coal quality specifications than those applicable to traditional coal markets of coke making and conventional power generation. As well as quantifying coals in terms of their chemical and physical properties, detailed knowledge of the mineral inclusions within the coal particles is required to identify coals that are suited to economically produce the low-ash value coals required for these markets.

Hence, it is necessary to understand the associations of the minerals and macerals in individual particles as these give a particular coal not only its chemical attributes and utilization performance but also its washability (density distribution) and contribute to its surface chemistry characteristics. These attributes pinpoint the coals that are suited to beneficiation techniques that can be employed to produce economic amounts of low-ash value products for these new markets. After mining and processing, some particles can consist of essentially pure components of a single maceral or mineral phase whilst others are composite particles that are comprised of varying amounts of macerals and minerals. The proportion of particles that are present as pure components or as composites will be a function of the characteristics of the coal and the particle size. In general, it is considered that size reduction will result in liberation and hence increased yield. The amount of liberation that occurs during crushing or grinding a coal is however coal specific.

Particle characterization information provided by an optical microscopic-imaging method, Coal Grain Analysis, was used to identify coals that might benefit from additional crushing to improve recovery of clean coal by new density separation techniques and by flotation. As expected, the results of these studies suggest that the degree of liberation that is obtained is coal specific, and, hence, yield improvements are also coal specific. Hence a quantitative method of investigating this issue is required.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Created: Thu, 31 Jul 2014, 09:55:01 EST by Jon Swabey on behalf of Sustainable Minerals Institute