Maceral/microlithotype partitioning through triboelectrostatic dry coal cleaning

James C. Hower, Heng Ban, John L. Schaefer, John M. Stencel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Three eastern Kentucky and two Illinois Basin coals were tested in a bench scale triboelectrostatic separation unit. The three eastern Kentucky samples provided a rank series of petrographically comparable coals. The Illinois Basin bituminous coals were lower rank and had high vitrinite (∼ 80%) and sulfur contents in comparison to the other three coals. Triboelectrostatic beneficiation provides efficient maceral and mineral partitioning in the high volatile A and B bituminous coals tested, with vitrinite, as vitrite and vitrinite-enriched microlithotypes, reporting to the clean fractions and the inertinites, liptinites, and minerals reporting to the tails. The high volatile C bituminous Springfield coal had a lower separation efficiency than the petrographically similar, but higher rank, Herrin coal. The decreased separation efficiency in the behavior of the Springfield coal may be a response to its higher moisture content. Compared to bench-scale fuel oil agglomeration of some of the same coals, triboelectrostatic separation provides clearer partitioning of mineral matter, sulfur, and macerals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Geology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Partial financial support of the U.S. Department of Energy through Pittsburgh Energy Technology Center (DE-FG22-91PC290) and the Commonwealth of Kentucky is acknowledged.


  • Beneficiation
  • Coal
  • Maceral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Stratigraphy


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