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Waste Coal Beneficiation with High Efficient Flotation Process

Fan Shi, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2300 Hayward Avenue, 3230 H. H. Dow Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2136 and Shaio-hung Chiang, Chemical Engineering Department, University of Pittsburgh, 1249 Benedum Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.

The vast quantity of waste coal in the United States presents us an opportunity to recover it as an alternative energy source that otherwise would not only be unused but also be a threat to the environment.

In this paper a newly developed multi-stage loop-flow flotation column (the MSTLFLO Process) has been tested as an effective means for recovering waste coal from disposal sites and to produce a clean coal product for electricity generation. Tests conducted under different operating conditions were carried out with two different waste coal samples. The results have demonstrated that the MSTLFLO process is capable of producing low ash (less than 10 % ash) clean coal product with greater than 90 % heating value recovery. The cost of producing clean coal product from waste coal using the MSTLFLO process in a 2,000 ton/day plant is estimated as low as $2.38/ton. These findings indicate that the MSTLFLO process has the potential to be developed for commercial applications in producing utility quality clean coal products from waste coal deposits at a competitive cost.