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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X


BADA, S.O.; FALCON, L.M.; FALCON, R.M.S.  and  DU CANN, V.M.. Qualitative analysis of fine coals obtained from triboelectrostatic separation. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2012, vol.112, n.1, pp.55-62. ISSN 2411-9717.

Coal samples taken from the No. 2 Seam and No. 4 Seam in a South African colliery were tested in a rotary triboelectrostatic separator. The two-stage triboelectrostatic separation results using the -177 µm size fraction reduced No. 2 Seam coal containing about 30.4 per cent ash to a clean product of 8.9 per cent and 13.1 per cent ash with combustible recoveries of 9.6 per cent and 30.7 per cent respectively. The same separation approach on No.4 seam feed coal, which contained 36 per cent ash, produced a clean coal product with 10.8 per cent ash at a combustible recovery of 6.0 per cent. Petrographic tests show a significant improvement in the vitrinite content and a reduction in visible minerals encountered when using the triboelectrostatic separator, with about 53 per cent vitrinite reporting to the clean fraction for No. 2 Seam compared to the feed content of 21 per cent, and a 54 per cent vitrinite in the clean No. 4 Seam from a feed content of 21 per cent. Significant sulphur reductions were also observed after separation in both coal samples, with a better separation in the second-stage coal products.

Keywords : coal; dry coal beneficiation; electrostatic separation; maceral; particle charging; RTS technique.

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