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Triboelectrostatic fly ash Triboelectrostatic fly ash

Beneficiation
Ing. Antonio Zucca
IGAG – CNR – UOS CAGLIARI
azucca@unica.it
Fly ash
Burning coal in electric power stations generates huge Burning coal in electric power stations generates huge
quantities of fly ash, giving rise to major technical
problems and additional financial burden Therefore the problems and additional financial burden. Therefore, the
re-use of this kind of material would offer significant
advantages dispensingwiththeneedandcost of disposal advantages, dispensingwiththeneedandcost of disposal
in suitable landfill systems and providing in addition
somereturnontheraw-material market somereturnontherawmaterial market.
A roughestimateputsat morethan300billiontonnesper
year theamount of flyashproducedworldwide.
Fly ash is being used in building and construction
applications (cement additive, lightweight aggregate),
environmental rehabilitation (mine spoil ameliorate),
waste management (toxic element immobilisation) and
polymers(functional filler).
Another important application is to use unburned carbon
as filter media in place of activated carbon or as a as filter media, in place of activated carbon or as a
substitute for industrial carbon. The unburned coal
particles are structurally modified while passing through particles are structurally modified while passing through
thecombustor resultingintheformationof macro-porous
surfaces with presenceof silicaand alumina compounds, surfaces with presenceof silicaand alumina compounds,
so that, after separation from the true ash, they may
constitute a suitable precursor for the production of bulk constitute a suitable precursor for the production of bulk
adsorbents.
However the most common application is actually the However the most common application is actually the
useof fly-ashasacomponent of concrete.
Tests carried out by different organisations showed that
carbon could be a deleterious substance in concrete
because it adversely affects air entraining admixtures
commonly used to impart desirable properties to
concrete, includingincreaseddurability.
International standards (EN 450 fly ash for concrete) International standards (EN 450, fly ash for concrete)
have established a 5% maximumcontent of unburned
coal in fly ash usable for cement application although coal in fly ash usable for cement application, although
some concrete producers set the maximum allowable
LOI level at lessthan4% LOI level at lessthan4%.
Thenewer coal firedplantsareequippedwithlow-NOx
burnersintheboilerswhichareoperatedat lower firing burnersintheboilerswhichareoperatedat lower firing
temperatures.
Thisnegatively affectsfly ashquality generatinglarger Thisnegatively affectsfly ashquality, generatinglarger
proportionsof unburnedcarbon.
In order to reduceand prevent thelandfilling proneto
increasing restrictions, as well as to increase the use
and value of fly ash with respect to various
applications, a beneficiation process becomes
necessary.
Regarding the choice of the technology, the main
requirement is that it must be suitable for the requirement is that it must be suitable for the
treatment of very finely divided matter, taking into
account that fly ash recovered in electrostatic account that fly ash recovered in electrostatic
precipitatorsisusuallybelow150micrometers, with
aconsiderableproportionfiner than50micrometers aconsiderableproportionfiner than50micrometers.
A second and not less important requirement is the
low-cost of atreatment process, dueto thefact that
fly ash has a low commercial value especially for
themost commonapplications.
Recently, applicationof adrytriboelectrostaticprocess
has been considered for the separation of unburned has been considered for the separation of unburned
carbon from fly ash into economically valuable
products products.
Apart from these methods, froth flotation and air
classification are also used for the separation of
unburnedcarbonfromflyash.
Some studies show that unburned carbon can be
recoveredwithoil agglomerationprocess recoveredwithoil agglomerationprocess.
Gravity and magnetic separation were also proposed
for removing not only unburned carbon, but also
magneticmaterial aswell.
CarbonBurnout.
Si l ifi ti t b i t ti h Sizeclassificationappears tobeaninterestingapproach
on account of the fact that unburned particles, often in
l l b d t ll i i loosely bound aggregates, are generally coarser in size
thannoncombustiblematter.
Sieving can takeadvantageof theround particleshape
of non combustiblematter that is favourableto areadyy
flowthroughthesievemeshwithout clogging.
Si l ifi ti f th ti f l b Size classification for the separation of a low-carbon
fraction must be carried out very gently using
t t i l i t ti th lid apparatuses not involving strong actions on the solid
particles.
The suitability of electrostatic methods for the y
beneficiationof fly ashhas already beenprovenelsewhere
evenat acommercial scale.
A separator has been developed by Separation Technology
I b d l ti t ib h i f b d h Inc., based on selective tribocharging of carbon and ash
particles [E.Tondu, W.G.Thompson, D.R.Whitlock,
J D Bitt d A V ili k C i l ti f J.D.Bittner and A.Vasiliauskas: Commercial separation of
unburned carbon from Fly ash; Mining Engineering, 6, 47-
50 1996] 50, 1996].
The machine, capable of treating 40 t/h of fly ash, , p g y ,
consists of two parallel plateelectrodes, betweenwhich
anopenmeshpolymer belt ismovedproducingastrong p p y p g g
agitation and acleaning action of theelectrodes dueto
the counter current flow in the upper and lower parts. pp p
Particles migrate through the narrow gap between the
electrodes according to the respective charge and are g p g
carriedtowardstheoppositeendswherearecollected.
Negative Electrode
Mark Shilling, P.E Carolina Power & Light Co. Carbon/Ash Separation.
1999 International Ash Utilization Symposium, Center for Applied Energy Research,
University of Kentucky, Paper #97.
About eighteenseparatorsareused: thefirst one(1997) About eighteenseparatorsareused: thefirst one(1997)
North Carolina (Progress Energy – Roxboro Station)
and themost recent applications arein Florida(Tampa and themost recent applications arein Florida(Tampa
Electric Co. Big Bend Station); England (EDF Energy
West Burton Station Lafarge Cement UK); Wales West Burton Station – Lafarge Cement UK); Wales
(RWE AberthauStation- LafargeCement UK); Poland
(HATRA Cement LafargeCement Poland) (HATRA Cement - LafargeCement Poland).
An interesting article as been published in the
Proceedings of 2009 World of Coal Ash (WOCA)
Conference. May 4-9, Lexington, KY, USA: “Fly Ash
Carbon Separation and Ammonia Removal at Tampa
Electric Big Bend” authors J .D. Bittner, S.A.
Gasioroski andF.J .Hrach.
“Fly Ash Carbon Separation and Ammonia Removal at Tampa Electric Big Bend” authors J .D.
Bittner, S.A. Gasioroski and F.J .Hrach.
2009 World of Coal Ash (WOCA) Conference. May 4-9, Lexington, KY, USA
A i il b d ib h i i b i A similar concept based on tribocharging is being
followedagainintheUSA [J..M.Stencel, H.Bann, T.X.Li,
J K N h d J L S h f D l i J.K.Neathery and J.L.Schaefer : Dry electrostatic
separation of unburned carbon from coal ash ; in
R Ci (Ed ) SWEMP’96 DIGITA C li i 1996 R.Ciccu (Ed.): SWEMP’96, DIGITA, Cagliari 1996
(pp.263-275)].
The charging device consists of a stainless steel duct,
suitably shaped in order to enhance the probability of y p p y
collisionsof particlesagainst eachother andonthemetal
surface itself. The separation of selectively charged p y g
particlesisachievedinafreefall chamber.
C A Lockert R Lister andJ M Stencel “CommercializationStatusof aPneumatic C. A. Lockert, R. Lister and J . M. Stencel Commercialization Status of a Pneumatic
Transport, Triboelectrostatic System for Carbon/Ash Separation.”
2001 International Ash Utilization Symposium, Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Paper #46
In the last years, the IGAG (Environmental Geology
and Geoengineering Institute of CNR UOS of and Geoengineering Institute of CNR, UOS of
Cagliari, Italy) together with DIGITA (Dept. of
Geoengineering and Environmental technologies Geoengineering and Environmental technologies
University of Cagliari, Italy) has carried out an
investigation aimed at verifying the possibility of investigation aimed at verifying the possibility of
beneficiating fly ash to obtain a product suitable for
cement manufacturingor other advancedapplications cement manufacturingor other advancedapplications
and alow-heat fuel to berecycled back to theboiler
or tobeusedinimmobilizationtechniques or tobeusedinimmobilizationtechniques.
Material characterization.
A l f fl h f l t ti A sample of fly ash from a coal power station
located in the South of Italy has been tested. Fly
h hi fl h b f d t i t f i l t d ash chiefly has been found to consist of isolated
particles having prevailingly a spherical shape,
h b d b l t ith whereas unburned carbon occurs as elements with
irregular contour, ofteninclusters.
Diff t t i l i l d th f Diffractometric analysis revealed the presence of
mulliteandof aphasesimilar to graphitethat may
b th d t f ki M tit i l t betheproduct of coking. Magnetiteis also present
asthefinal stepof pyriteoxidation.
Th l t f fl h i t f h Thelarger part of fly ashconsists of anamorphous
phase with extremely variable chemical
iti i b i ti ti h d composition, as microprobeinvestigationshowed.
Observation on polished briquettes revealed that
unburned coal particles show different degrees of p g
transformation, either limitedto athin outer shell, in
the case of compact elements, which also appear to p pp
be characterized by the presence of a disseminated
vitreous phase, or developed deep inside in the case p p p
of porousparticles.
It canbeassumedthat thefirst derivefrommacerals It canbeassumedthat thefirst derivefrommacerals
like inertinite and exinite and the second from
vitrinite vitrinite.
Table - Dry size analysis of fly ash from a power y y y p
station.
Size class
[µm]
Weight
[%]
L.O.I.
[%]
L.O.I.
Distr.[%]
+45 28.33 14.61 65.9
4 3 13 42 3 -45+37 5.13 4.27 3.5
-37 66.54 2.89 30.6
Total 100.00 6.28 100.0
Beforeundertakingtheseparationtests thebehaviour Beforeundertakingtheseparationtests, thebehaviour
of selected samples of unburned particles and of
carbon-free ash subjected to contact charging was carbon free ash subjected to contact charging was
studied by measuring the electric charge per unit
mass with a Faraday well connected to an mass with a Faraday well connected to an
electrometer.
Ash matter is negatively charged by contact on the
vibrating chute while unburned particles are vibrating chute, while unburned particles are
positively charged by conductance on a grounded
metal surface while passing through a static field metal surface while passing through a static field
generatedbyanegativevoltage.
Twoalternativeflow-sheetshavebeentested:
- direct treatment of flyashbyelectricseparation d ec ea e o yas byeec csepaa o
- recovery of a low-carbon fraction by screening
followedby theelectrostaticseparationof theoversize y p
for the recovery of coarser ash and of a combustible
product. p
The proposal which includes a size classification for
i h fi f i h l d i recovering the finest fraction that already contains
little combustible matter and eliminating unburned
b f h f i b f l i carbon fromthecoarser fraction by means of electric
separationisherereported.
Size classification tests have been carried out
using a Vibrowest circular screen with different g
mesh openings and variable setting of the
counterweights in order to control the kind of g
movement of theflyashmassflowingthroughthe
machine. Using a suitable set-up, capacity and g p p y
residence time, it was possible to obtain an
undersize with a LOI content of 2,98 % and a
recovery of 68 %[CiccuR., Ghiani M., Muntoni A., Serci A., Peretti R.,
Orsenigo L.G., Quattroni G., Zucca, A., 1999. TheItalianApproachto theProblemof
Fly Ash Proceedings of the International Ash Utilization Symposium Lexington Fly Ash. Proceedings of the International Ash Utilization Symposium. Lexington,
Kentucky, USA, pp. 591-601. ISBN0-9674971-0-8. ].
The amenability of the screen oversize to be treated
with electrostatic separators has been tested using
different electrostaticseparators:
- - aclassical drumseparator [Ciccuet al., 1997]
- a “metal belt” prototype (Patent: RM 98 A 000156)
a“coneshaped” prototype; - a cone-shaped prototype;
Classical drumseparator : Electrostaticseparationof unburnt coal for fly-ashbeneficiation.
Proceedingsof XX International Mineral ProcessingCongress
[CiccuR Ghiani M Peretti R Serci A ZuccaA 1997] [CiccuR., Ghiani M., Peretti R., Serci A., ZuccaA., 1997.]
A “metal belt” prototype(Patent: RM 98A 000156,
1998) Th t i t f f d d i f 1998). The system consists of: a feed device for
initiating the charging process and discharging the
lid t t th b lt t l b lt ith solid stream onto the belt; a metal belt, with
adjustable inclination electrically grounded or
connectedtoa oltageso rce; aset of electrodesfor connectedtoavoltagesource; aset of electrodesfor
creatingastaticfield, their arrangement andposition
withrespect tothebelt canbemodifiedaccordingto withrespect tothebelt canbemodifiedaccordingto
requirements; a voltage source. [Ciccu R., Ghiani M., Peretti R.,
Serci A., Zucca A, 2005. Development of a new electric belt separator for fine particles. Serci A., Zucca A, 2005. Development of a new electric belt separator for fine particles.
Proceedings of the XI Balkan Mineral Processing Congress, Mineral processing in
sustainabledevelopment, FetahuK. Ed., Albpaper Publisher, Tirane, Abania, pp. 259-266.]
Separation device. 1) metal belt; 2) vibrating feeder; 3) p ) ; ) g ; )
electrodes; 4 and 5) trays
A “cone-shaped” prototype. The system consists of: a
vibratingstainlesssteel feedingdevice; astainlesssteel vibrating stainless steel feeding device; a stainless steel
cone-shaped surface, connected to the ground or to a
voltagesourceandrevolvingalongitsvertical axis; aset voltage source and revolving along its vertical axis; a set
of electrodes for the establishment of a static field, the
arrangement of whichandthepositionwithrespect tothe arrangement of which and the position with respect to the
carrier surface can be modified according to needs; a
sectionfor theseparatecollectionof theproductsandfor section for the separate collection of the products and for
cleaning of the surface; a voltage source.
A New Electrostatic Separator For Fine Particles. Proceedings of the XXI International Mineral p g f
Processing Congress. [Ciccu R., Ghiani M., Peretti R., Serci A., Zucca A. ]
1 Feeder
2 Electrodes
3 "Unburned" discharge
4 Revolvingsurface
5 Shieldingplates
6 "Ash" discharge
7 Brusches
Figure 1. Viewsof theseparator prototype
Selective charging of mineral particles can take Selective charging of mineral particles can take
place in a suitable separate device like the
“turbocharger” and/or in the same vibrating feeder turbocharger and/or in the same vibrating feeder
to the separator as the result of friction between
particlesthemselvesandagainst themetal surface particlesthemselvesandagainst themetal surface.
Charging intensity is controlled by the amplitude
and frequency of vibration and by the length and
inclinationof thechute.
Charging depends also on the conditions affecting
the feed material and the surrounding environment the feed material and the surrounding environment
(temperatureandhumidity).
As the cone rotates, the layer is carried into the
section wherethestatic field becomes active. Non
conductor particles charged with thesamepolarity
of the electrode are pinned to the surface and
remain attached to it all the way until they reach
the discharge zone where the residual layer of
adhering particles is brushed away and collected
intotheappropriatebin.
The separator was hosted in an encasement inside
hi h d h idi which constant temperature and humidity
conditionsweremaintained.
Th l h d 50°C b f h i Thesamplewas heatedat 50°C beforeeachtest in
order toreducethemoisture.
Combination of dry screening and electrostatic separation y g p
Products Fly ash sample
Yield
[%]
L.O.I.
[%]
L.O.I.
Distr.[%] [ ] [ ] [ ]
Benef. Ash 86,56 3,12 41,01
Middlings 7,52 13,48 15,39
Comb 5 92 48 50 43 60 Comb.
fraction
5,92 48,50 43,60
Total 100,00 6,59 100,00 Total 100,00 6,59 100,00
CARBOSULCIS
The coal Sulcis so named because of the The coal Sulcis, so named because of the
geographical area extracted from the mineral
deposit Sulcis, is called “sub-bituminous coal long p , g
flame”, according to the ATSM D 338 American
Classification.
The structure has a potential mining production of
1,500,000 tons of coal per year, the estimated
reserves of coal deposit amount to over two billion
tonnes.
H idit
10 5%
The characteristic parameters of coal sulcis
Humidity
10.5%
Volatile matter
39%
Ashes
16%
Fixed Carbon
52.5%
Sulfur
6.06%
Lower Calorific Value - Hi [kcal / kg]
5000 - 6000
SOTACARBO SO C O
The newresearch centre started in may 2008
The Centre is located near the Coal Museum
Serbariu Mine (Carbonia) and covered a surface of
more than 12 000 square meters (about 1430 m
2
more than 12,000 square meters (about 1430 m
2
laboratories and offices and 10000 m
2
pilot plants).
- Member of “IEA Clean Coal Center”, set up as Member of IEA Clean Coal Center , set up as
“Implementing Agreement” of the International Energy
Agency, aimed at developing Clean Coal Technologies
(CCTs);
- Involved in the European “Hyways” Project aimed at p y y j
developing technologies for producing and using
Hydrogen;
- involved in “Carbon Sequestration Leadership
Forum” (CSLF) aimed at developing technologies for
CO
2
separation, sequestration, transport and storage;
- involved in “Coal Mine Methane Subcommittee”
(CMS) aimed at developing the use and the develop of
technologies for methane recovery from different
i i emissions.
DIGITA (Dept. of Geoengineering and environmental G ( ept o Geoe g ee g a d e o e ta
technologies) and IGAG-CNR-UOS of Cagliari
(Environmental Geology and Geoengineering Institute of
CNR).
- The influence of coal characteristics and operating
parameters on the rheological proprieties of coal-water
mixes.
- Reduction of gas serra emissions in the atmosphere trough
thegeological storageCO2.
- Coal flotationusingWater J etTechnology.