Briquetting of coal fines and sawdust - Effect of particle-size distribution

D. P. Patil, D. Taulbee, B. K. Parekh, R. Honaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The coal industry usually discards fine-size (-150microns) coal because of its high-moisture content and handling problems. One avenue for utilization is to either pelletize or briquette this material. However, industry has not adopted this route due in large part to significant drying and binder costs. In an effort to reduce these costs, compacting and briquetting studies were conducted to determine the effect of combining a coarse (1.18×0.15mm) spiral separator product with a fine coal flotation product (-150microns), with and without adding sawdust. Maximizing the packing density of the coal and wood waste mixture could potentially reduce the binder requirement by minimizing the void space as well as reducing shipping costs. Accordingly, work reported here focused on evaluating the impact of the particle-size distribution of different blends of fine and coarse coal, with and without sawdust and/or binder. The modified Proctor density of compacted blends along with the porosity and compressive strengths of briquettes made from each blend were determined. For the coal-only blends, the packing density was maximized by a relatively high (70% to 80%) coarse coal content. However, the packing density did not correlate with the compressive strength of the briquette that instead maximized with 100% fine flotation coal and continuously decreased as higher proportions of coarse coal were added. Similar compaction and compressive-strength results were obtained with mixtures of sawdust and varying proportions of coarse and fine coal. With the addition of a binder, the highest strengths were no longer obtained with 100% fine coal but instead maximized between 20% and 50% coarse coal addition depending on how long the briquettes were cured.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-264
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Preparation and Utilization
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Briquettes
  • Coal
  • Packing density
  • Sawdust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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