Coal Preparation

Acoustic Emission Soft-Sensor Alarm System for Dense Medium Cyclones

Coal Preparation » Process Control

Published: August 08Project Number: C16045

Get ReportAuthor: Steven Spencer, R Bruniges, A Williams, V Sharp, S Rainey, G Roberts, R Stevens, M Millen | CSIRO Minerals

A commercial prototype Acoustic Emission (AE) analyser has been developed for monitoring performance of washery Dense Medium Cyclones (DMCs), in particular the detection of adverse DMC operating conditions.   The analyser consists of an electronics module and multiple accelerometer sensors which are non-intrusively mounted on a DMC shell at feed, underflow and overflow locations. These sensors acquire passive (natural) AE signals representative of the local internal flow stream process state. The AE signals are fed to the analyser computer for real time analysis. Process variable information from the plant control system is combined with derived AE measures to provide rapid information on the DMC performance to the plant control room. This will allow rapid remedial action to be taken by the plant if required.

This project follows on from the previous ACARP projects C12052 and C14063. The previous projects demonstrated proof-of-concept of the passive AE monitoring approach for determination of DMC process state and adverse operating conditions.  Under the current project a robust analyser suitable for permanent industrial deployment, and capable of outputting alarms in real time has been developed, and manufactured. The analyser was installed, commissioned and tested in a five month trial at Hunter Valley Operations (HVO) No. 1 Coal Handling and Preparation Plant in NSW.

The analyser has been developed to advise of the following DMC conditions:

  • Spigot/vortex overload
  • Surging
  • Feed imbalance for parallel DMCs
  • Discharge stream blockage
  • Clay Ball formation

Overload and surging conditions occurred during the trial and were detected by the AE analyser. Feed imbalance between parallel DMCs was routinely detected. Although not part of the scope of the current project, the analyser was also shown to be capable of providing an estimate of DMC yield variation with coal feed type, specific gravity of the feed dense medium and solids feed rate. A DMC on-line yield indicator clearly has great potential for optimisation of washery separation performance.  

CSIRO Minerals has established a strategy to supply AE Analysers to the Australian coal industry for deployment on DMCs. A commercial on-line analyser based on passive AE signals is easy to install and maintain in an operating washery. Designs are available for four or eight channel AE Analysers to monitor both single and dual DMC modules. The commercial prototype AE monitoring and alarm system for DMC adverse operating conditions is now available to the Australian coal industry.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C19024Establishing Ecologically Sustainable Mine Water Release Criteria In Seasonally Flowing Streams

Extreme rainfall conditions in the Fitzroy Catchment over an approxi...

C25030Coal Mine Open Pit Final Void Closure And Relinquishment - Addressing Uncertainty In Coal Mine Environmental Planning

This report addresses uncertainties faced by coal mine operators whe...

C27046Estimation Of True Deformation Vector From Slope Radar Monitoring

Slope deformation radar monitors are now widely used in open cut coa...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C27004Improving Coal Flotation With Oscillatory Air Supply

This report provides detailed information on coal flotation with os...

C25018Improving Solids Recovery And Moisture Reduction In Ultrafine Coal Dewatering

This report provides detailed information on fine coal dewatering in...

C27028Lab Froth Flotation Testing Guide With Coal Quality

Correct outcomes from laboratory froth flotation testing in coal bor...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C26039Nanoporosity In Cokes: Their Origin, Control And Influence On CO2 Reactivity

This project using the outcomes of previous project C24060, examine...

C28063A Comprehensive Technical Review Of High-Efficiency Low-Emission (HELE) Pulverised Coal Combustion Technologies For Power Generation

Research and development has been undertaken worldwide to realise co...

C28064Carbon Structure Transformation During Coking Of Australian Coking Coals: Better Understanding The Coke Formation

Carbon structures of coke that are formed during the plastic layer a...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

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

An alternative approach to high temperature oxidation of ventilation...

C26004CFD Modelling Of Reverse Thermal Oxidisers For VAM Abatement - CFD Modelling Of Fixed-Bed RTO Devices

The project is part of a larger multi‐phase program of study a...

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

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

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

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 ...

Mining And The Community


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

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook