Improving Densification of Fine Coal Refuse Slurries to Eliminate Slurry Ponds

Grants and Contracts Details


Increased mechanization in the underground coal mining has increased the volume of refuse generated by coal preparation plants. The fine refuse slurry, composed of coal, and mineral matter, is usually disposed off in a holding pond (impoundment), which has to be maintained and monitored continuously. Incidents of impoundment breakthrough have drawn attention of Government as well as industry to look for a solution to avoid the spillage of slurry in the future. The main objective of the proposed program is to evaluate a new technique known as "Paste Thickening Technology", marketed by DORR-OLIVER EIMCO, which utilizes a DEEP CONE Thickener to discharges the waste slurry as a paste. The paste material could be stacked up at a low repose angle and would dry over a period of time, thus avoiding the storage of slurries in ponds. The proposed study will be conducted as joint program between University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research, Department of Mining engineering, DORR-OLIVER EIMCO and two coal companies, on two types of coal waste slurries obtained from different preparation plants. The laboratory studies will involve characterization of slurries for their composition, particle size distribution, pH, zeta potential, and rheology (viscosity). Flocculation studies ofthe slurries will be conducted with respect to addition of various types offlocculants and percent solids in the slurries. Rhelogy of the flocculated material will be studied to identify the yield stress for various solid concentrations. This information will be used to determine the optimum solids concentration of solids in the slurry to obtain a thickened paste type product. Later on, a pilot-scale study at one of the coal preparation site will be conducted,to obtain technical and economic data for a commercial installation and operation. It is anticipated that the outcome of the study will be an effective and economical process for ~afe disposal of fine coal refuse.
Effective start/end date4/1/033/31/09


  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: $154,788.00


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