Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X
The re-use of waste water from coal preparation plant tailings is always desirable, but is generally problematic in terms of solid-liquid separation. Dewatering and disposal of coal slurry at a high percentage of moisture poses a major technological and environmental challenge to mining and mineral processing industries world-wide. Characterization and floccu-lation of these coal tailings reveals that the separation of fine coal tailings depends on factors such as size distribution, slurry viscosity, zeta potential, pulp density, circuit design, plant operating parameters, and the behaviour of solid particles in an aqueous medium. The present study was carried out on -600 mm coal tailings collected from a coking coal preparation plant of Jharia Coalfield, India, using anionic flocculent. Characterization studies revealed that the zeta potential was highest (-44 mV) at a pH of 9.0, the size range of the particles was 1.1-700 μτη, and the average ash content was 62.57%. Flocculation studies were performed at different solid concentrations, pH values, and polymer dosages. The results indicated an efficient settling rate of 178.15 mm/min at 8% solid (w/w) at a flocculent dosage of 32.50 g/t solid. The turbidity of the clear liquid obtained was 7.42 NTU.
Keywords : flocculation; coal fines; settling; dewatering.