Maceral Liberation and Distribution of Bituminous Coal for Predicting Maceral-Separation Performance

Lei Zhang, James C. Hower, Wenli Liu, Dongpo Men

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The success of gravitational separation of coal macerals for a given coal is dependent on the liberation and distribution of macerals. On a basis of four coals of varying ranks from high-volatile bituminous coal to low-volatile bituminous coal, this article presents the maceral liberation and distribution under various crushing degrees and predicts the maceral separation performance with various separation techniques. The determination of the Hardgrove Grindability Index of maceral concentrates was also performed. The liberation and distribution results show that vitrinite tends to be concentrated in particles with lower density and finer size, and good liberation performance of high-volatile bituminous coal is achieved by crushing to -3 mm. The medium-volatile bituminous coal behaved differently than the other three coals, which is confirmed by the relationship between HGI and coal rank as well as maceral composition. The prediction results show that there is good performance for high-volatile and low-volatile bituminous coals using the technique of crushing to -3 mm + density-based separation while good separation performance of medium-volatile bituminous could be achieved using a technique of 50 x 0.5 mm + density-based separation, not necessarily crushing. This study provides theoretical support of rational utilization of the coking coals using maceral separation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-251
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Preparation and Utilization
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis.


  • Bituminous coal
  • HGI
  • maceral distribution
  • maceral liberation
  • separation performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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