Evaluation of density separators models in Canadian coal preparation plants

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 78, No. 881, 1985

A.I.A. SALAMA Research Scientist, M.W. MIKHAIL, Head, Coal Preparation Research Unit, Coal Research Laboratory, CANMET, Edmonton, Alberta, and LC. BIRD Atomic Energy of Canada

A program of sampling in Canadian washeries was carried out by the Coal Research Laboratory (CRL) over a period of two years to evaluate the performance of various density separators in these operations "'. Operating data on quality and recovery of products, separation efficiencies and cutpoints for each separator type are compared with data predicted using computer models developed from previously existing data.The Heavy Medium Cyclone (HMC), Heavy Medium Bath (HMB) and jig models give predictions of recoveries and qualities of products for sizes coarser than 10 mm with absolute value of error mean less than 7 per cent, whereas predictions of the Water Only Cyclone (WOC) model for -10 mm fine coal are with absolute value of error mean less than 8 per cent. Although less accurate for -10 mm fine coal, the HMC and jig models produce predictions of recoveries with absolute value of error mean less than 2 per cent and quality of products predictions with absolute value of error mean less than 28 per cent which are generally acceptable because more liberation in the fine fractions appears to compensate for any difference in the accuracy of separation, resulting in good prediction of the clean product. However, ash content of the actual fine refuse was lower than predicted. The difference is attributed to the highly friable nature of Canadian coals which tends to cause an excessive loss of coal fines to the fine refuse. A comparison study based on quality and recovery of products is made between the Dutch State Mines (DSM) models and the recently modified models, both produced comparable predictions.
Mots Clés: Coal preparation, Density separators, Coal washing, Washeries, Computer models.