Beneficiation of weathered ultra-fine discard with an advanced High internal phase water-in-oil technique

Wits/Coaltech | February 2022

Continuous use of mechanised mining and the convectional beneficiation of South Africa’s run of mine coal has led to over one billion five hundred million tons of fine discard coal (-1 mm) stored/dumped in South Africa (Department of Energy, 2001). This study was carried out using HIP W/O technique, known as advanced high internal phase water-in-oil emulsion binder. The as-received weathered discards coal comprised of fixed carbon content ranging from 17.79% to 43.29%, with calorific values ranging from 8.48 MJ/kg to 20.94 MJ/kg. The ash content of the coal feeds ranged from 28.63% to 48.71%.

In this research, the HIP W/O emulsion approach was established as an alternative approach to upgrade weathered discard coal dumped for over three decades and achieved better quality product compared to kerosene. The produced clean coal products can be used directly for combustion and co-combustion solid fuels in power generation.