Coal Preparation

Review of ACARP Dewatering Projects

Coal Preparation » Dewatering

Published: October 02Project Number: C11039

Get ReportAuthor: Chris Wood | Partition Enterprises

This report presents a review of the 26 past and current coal dewatering research projects funded by NERDDC and ACARP. It was commissioned by ACARP to:

  • summarise the practical outcomes
  • highlight any further potential outcomes that could be realised for a relatively small amount of additional funding
  • recommend any prospective areas for future research.

All projects were critically reviewed. They were also discussed with key participants and with numerous coal preparation practitioners and equipment suppliers. The body of the report presents a brief summary of relevant projects, arranged according to the dewatering equipment or technique under investigation. No broad review of literature was undertaken. That has been done within the projects under review.

The practical outcomes of ACARP dewatering research have been minimal. It seems that no plant is making routine use of production equipment or techniques that can be traced back to these projects. The CSIRO and University of Queensland developed a bench-scale centrifuge. It is used to treat samples of coarse coal to predict product moisture content following processing of that coal type in an industrial-scale vibrating basket centrifuge. This has been used by a number of producers and plant designers for plant design and optimisation. The University of Queensland sought to have its version of the single leaf laboratory filter adopted as an industry standard. To date, little interest has been shown in that device.

The two R&D issues with most potential for near-to-medium term benefit to producers are:

  1. Managing water loss and water uptake from the point of production of saleable product to the point of sampling for sale. This can include drainage from stockpiles and rail wagons and water uptake from rain and dust-suppression sprays.
  2. Demonstration projects to assist producers to better utilise existing equipment - particularly filters, vibrating basket centrifuges and scroll centrifuges.

Valuable projects on air-purge dewatering and on extending the life of scroll centrifuge baskets are nearing completion. Other matters with near-to-medium term potential include:

  1. Properly-resourced plant trials of high-shear conditioning of filter feed with polyelectrolyte flocculants and with oil.
  2. A study to generate guidelines as to what size fractions are worth recovering. Inputs would include contamination levels, associated moisture levels and contract provisions.
  3. A brief review of the state-of-the-art of briquetting and of briquette stability. It should consider processes which use binders as well as "binderless" processes which require pre-drying. Applications to filter cake and to coal recovered from tailings dams should be included.

Possible productive avenues for the medium term include:

  • Super-absorbent polymers for dewatering of fine coal.
  • Super-absorbent polymers to allow dry by-pass of fine coal to product
  • Depletion Flocculation, whereby osmotic effects can be utilised to compact and strengthen the sludge in a tailings pond.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

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Recently Completed Projects

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Correct outcomes in yield predictions for product ash from coal bore...

C27038Establishing Self-Sustaining And Recognisable Ecological Mine Rehabilitation

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Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

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Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

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C27054Optimisation Of A Thermal Flow Reversal Reactor For Ventilation Air Methane Mitigation

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C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL) - Phase 2 Demonstration In A Packed Bed Reactor

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Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

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Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

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The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

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National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

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