The role of coal preparation plant performance testing in improving clean coal recovery

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 86, No. 970, 1993

M.W. Mikhail, A.I.A. Salama and O.E. Humeniuk, Western Research Centre, CANMET, Devon, Alberta

Performance testing ofprepartion plants is referred to as plant audit. It evaluates plant performance under normal operating conditions and is aimed at improving yield through knowledge of actual process performance and interactions between different processes in a plant. This paper describes the program to evaluate the performance of several Canadian preparation plants. The performance test requires the planning of a sampling campaign that would include all circuits in the plant. Samples are analyzed to determine washing characteristics (screen and float-sink), ash and per cent solids of feed and products of separation units in the plant. Performance characteristics are established based on analysis and material balance. Specific recommendations can then be made to improve recovery, and identify and explain potential causes of apparent deficiencies. The objectives of the program are to reduce the cost of production by improving recovery of clean coal and, in turn, to reduce disposed tailings, establish baseline information on coal preparation plants performance in Canada, and define R&D work needed to optimize plant operation.
Mots Clés: Coal preparation, Clean coal recovery, Plant audits.