Parametric study of electrostatic separation of South African fine coal

Samson Bada, Daniel Tao, Rick Honaker, Lionel Falcon, Rosemary Falcon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The fact that water requirements are a major problem for present and future developments in material beneficiation, and the construction of a new power plant in South Africa, forms the basis for the utilization of a Rotary Triboelectrostatic Separator (RTS) for beneficiation of South African pulverized coal. The cleaning potential of Majuba and Koorfontein coal was first evaluated using kinetic froth flotation tests on the -177 μm coal fraction. The RTS tests were conducted under varied process parameters. Parameters such as applied separating voltage, air injection velocity, particle feed rate and splitter position were investigated. Two stage separation results show that the RTS reduced Majuba coal initially containing about 30 ash to a clean product of 14.30, or 19.46, ash at a combustible recovery of 15.10, or 53.02, respectively. Similar separation performance was also achieved with the Koorfontein coal. The mineral and organic compositions in the feed, after single stage and after the second stage separations were characterized using X-ray diffraction analysis. The results show a better separation for the second stage coal products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-541
Number of pages7
JournalMining Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the South African National Energy Research Institute (SANERI). Appreciation is also expressed to Mr. Ed Thompson with the Department of Mining Engineering of the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Geological Survey for granting permission to perform XRD analyses.


  • RTS technique
  • coal cleaning
  • particle charging
  • separation stage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Parametric study of electrostatic separation of South African fine coal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this