Coal Preparation » General
This project has developed a novel prototype optical system for profiling fine coal streams in a coal preparation plant. The system determines individual coal particle size, settling velocity and density targeting the size range (100µm - 2.0mm). This information is combined to form characteristic statistical distributions with the intention of allowing diagnostic information across the fine coal circuit to be generated in an online capacity.
The purpose of this project was to construct a prototype instrument to test the concept and develop the analytical software to underpin the hardware for batch analysis.
Overall, approximately 600 particles are required to reach a statistical consensus on size and velocity profiles within a 1-2% deviation and final density profiles compared well with bulk density measurements (below 3.4% difference). Typical measurement time is determined by the lowest particle size with a target of less than 5 minutes. It was found that with sufficient particles, the size/velocity/density data set could be further interrogated to produce profiles for tighter particle ranges. It is also apparent that a significantly greater amount of information could be determined by expanding the image analysis suite to include shape and colour factors. The characterisation of settling rate and the subsequent determination of individual particle density are highly novel features of this system and allow the statistical profiles to be cast in either particle count, volumetric or mass basis.