Coal washability analysis using X-ray tomographic images for different lithotypes

Liu, Hongping, Rodrigues, Sandra, Shi, Fengnian, Esterle, Joan and Manlapig, Emmanuel (2017) Coal washability analysis using X-ray tomographic images for different lithotypes. Fuel, 209 162-171. doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2017.07.104

Author Liu, Hongping
Rodrigues, Sandra
Shi, Fengnian
Esterle, Joan
Manlapig, Emmanuel
Title Coal washability analysis using X-ray tomographic images for different lithotypes
Journal name Fuel   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0016-2361
Publication date 2017-12-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.fuel.2017.07.104
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 209
Start page 162
End page 171
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract Conventional coal washability analysis is achieved by conducting Float and Sink (FaS) test, which is sampling dependent, destructive and uses environmentally hazardous chemicals. With the improvement of modern 2D and 3D imaging technologies, image analysis methods of digital CT scanned images are being developed and trialled to predict coal washability in a more flexible, efficient and safe way. To support the validity of this approach, this study illustrates the fundamental differences in breakage and liberation behaviour of coal lithotypes at the same rank from a single seam. Nine lithotype samples were repeatedly CT scanned before and after a series of 2 m drops to emulate fragmentation during the drop shatter test. The 3D watershed segmentation method was applied to scans to monitor changes in fragment size distribution and then assign a density to each fragment to obtain coal washability. Comparison between the processed image analysis results and FaS tests conducted after 31 drops show a very good match both in particle size distribution and coal washability for all the lithotypes. Results also show that dull coal or stone illustrate better agreement between CT image analysis and FaS test due to their very low percentage of small particles which may lead to underestimation when using CT image analysis. Possible ways of improving small particles estimation would be to use an XY plane H-maxima method and low merging coefficient in the image analysis process.
Keyword 3D watershed method
Coal washability
CT scanned images
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
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