Upgrading coal using a pneumatic density-based separator

R. Q. Honaker, M. Saracoglu, E. Thompson, R. Bratton, G. H. Luttrell, V. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The potential of dry cleaning coal of varying ranks using a pneumatic table concentrator has been evaluated as part of an ongoing investigation. The evaluation has been performed at several sites throughout the United States where coal is extracted from surface open cast, highwall and underground operations as well as from coarse reject. The treated coals varied in feed ash content (i.e., 7-70%). Regardless of the mineral matter type, pure rock removal into the reject stream was achieved in all applications with little coal loss. Field data obtained when treating 50×6mm run-of-mine bituminous coal indicate that 70-90% of the >2.0 Relative Density (RD) rock can be rejected. As a result, a clean product having acceptable market quality was generated from several coal sources including lignite, sub-bituminous, and bituminous coals. This article provides an overview of data from recent field testing of the dry air table technology and discusses the potential implementation strategy for the various sites evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-67
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Preparation and Utilization
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research discussed in this publication was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Mining Industry of the Future program (DE-FC26-05NT42501). The authors greatly appreciate the assistance provided by the personnel of the mining companies at each of the test sites.


  • Coal
  • Density-based separations
  • Dry separations
  • Efficiency
  • Mercury reduction
  • Riffle table separations

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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