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COAL TECHNOLOGIES

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Coal Technologies
 Coal is highly polluting source of energy from mine to
sky, it contaminates in every step of the way.
 Coal mines pollutes the river and streams, causing the
cancer, dioxins and other toxic illness when it is burned.
 It also emit pollution forming gases and fine particulates
that can be dangerous for human health.
 The coal is the dirty business.
 It is the major contributor to the climate change.
 Today the biggest environmental threats that we are
facing is mostly causing by the coal burning.

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 It is the most carbon –intensive fossil fuel
 emitting 72% more CO2 than natural gas.
 Coal fired power plants are the largest single source of
atmospheric mercury emissions.
 There is no commercially available technology to
prevent mercury emission from coal fired power plants.
 However, advanced clean coal technologies are intended
to reduce pollution.
 Since, no technology can truly clean the coal from
producing pollution from its production to utilization.

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 Coal technologies from production to utilization can be
classified into the following three main categories.
(i) Pre-combustion technologies:
 Coal production and processing technologies
(ii) During Combustion and Conversion technologies:
 Efficient combustion, carbonization and conversion
(liquefaction, gasification) technologies.
(iii) Post Combustion technologies
 Technologies for controlling emissions/pollutants of
plants.

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(i) Pre-combustion technologies:
Coal Production and Processing
Technologies
 Following coal technologies are involved in the
production and processing of coal.
 Prospecting and Exploration
 Development and Exploitation
 Mining
 Processing
 Preparation
 Storage
 Transportation

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PROSPECTING AND EXPLORATION

 Prospecting (Survey or Inspection) of Coal


◦ Main aim is to discover coal resources through a
search.
 The coal samples will be obtained to collect
reasonable evidence of the existence of a coal seam.
 Once a seam has been discovered, considerable
further work is necessary in order to advance
knowledge of the particular geologic aspects and the
extent of the coal deposit.

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 Coal Exploration (examination/investigation)
 It includes activities and evaluations necessary to gather
data for making decisions on such issues as:
 the desirability (attraction) of further exploration
 the technical feasibility of mining
 favorable factors
 unfavorable factors
 economic feasibility
 size of mine
 coal quality assessment
 marketability, and
 preparation of mined coal for market requirements

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 In geophysical exploration, the properties of earth
materials are measured in order to detect variance that may
be caused by the presence of mineral deposits.
 The geophysical exploration methods include:
 seismic
 electric
 magnetic
 radiometric, and
 gravitational

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 The exploration may begin with airborne (flying)
methods in regional and target-area investigations and
continue with on-ground methods during detailed
investigations.
 The most widely utilized airborne methods are (in
increasing order of use):
 magnetic
 magnetic plus radiometric
 magnetic plus electromagnetic, and
 electromagnetic
 These methods are almost always accompanied by aerial
photography.

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 Ground geophysical methods have a major advantage
over the airborne methods in that they are in direct
contact with the earth.
 The principal methods are:
 electrical
 magnetic
 electromagnetic
 radiometric
 gravimetric, and
 refraction-seismic

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Important Tasks in Coal Exploration

1. Mapping
 Geologic mapping involves the compiling details of:
 coal seams
 strata above and below the seam
 rock types
 geologic structures
 stream data, and
 man-made structures

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 Mapping techniques provide a means for:
 planning and accomplishing exploration
 development
 reclamation
 day-to-day operations, and
 equipment moves
 Calculation of material volumes, location of physical
elements, and determination of mining conditions are
expedited by the use of maps.
 Maps also provide a method for recording data so that they
can be organized and analyzed for ready reference.

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 Mapping includes:
◦ photogrammetric methods, and
◦ aerial photography
 Photogrammetric methods
◦ Photogrammetry is the science of making measurements
from photographs:
 especially for recovering the exact positions of surface
points.
◦ Photogrammetric methods are:
 relatively easy and inexpensive
 can be adjusted to any scale
 highly accurate in any terrain

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 Aerial photography
◦ It can be conducted at an altitude designed to produce
maps that show the features:
 drainage configuration
 roads
 buildings
 lakes
 streams
 timber
 power lines
 railroads and fences
 other features that may be missed by a ground
survey

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2.Drilling
 Drilling is the most reliable method of gathering
information about a coal deposit and the mining
conditions.
 It provides physical samples of the coal and overlying
strata for chemical and physical analysis.
(i) Spatial patterns for coal drilling
 In very large areas, hole spacings vary greatly and
generally are not in any set pattern.
 In narrowed or specific target area, a grid pattern is
most common.
 In areas where coal is known to exist, closely spaced
drill-hole patterns are required.

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(ii) Choice of drilling method: Core or rotary drilling
◦ In core drilling, a hollow drill bit is attached to a core
barrel so that cylindrical samples of the strata can be
obtained.
◦ In core drilling, a drill bit is faceted with diamonds for
cutting the strata, this method is also called diamond
core drilling.
◦ Photographing the cores as they come out of the hole can
provide data of great reliability.

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 In rotary drilling, the samples obtained are the chips
and pulverized rock produced by the abrasive and
chipping action of the drill bit.
 It is faster and relatively less expensive than core
drilling.
 In most cases, only 10 to 25% of the holes are actually
cored for detailed information on overlying strata and
coal.
 Coring of the coal seam itself is closely approached
100%, otherwise, the analytical information obtained
should be considered suspect.

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 The drill-hole geophysical survey is called logging.
 It is an important method of extending data acquisition
beyond the drill hole.
 A combination of logging methods is advantageous:
 gamma-ray and density logging for identifying the
type of coal present
 gamma-ray (radiometric), resistivity (electric), and
calliper logs for determining the thickness of the
seam
 sonic and density logs for determining the condition
of the roof and floor strata

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 The data records geological properties of various depths are
setup through the transducers and through control cables in
the form of digital electric signals.
 The data thus collected, recorded and analyzed in the data
processing instruments in the truck.
 Presence of coal is confirmed by the:
 high resistivity
 low natural radiation of gamma rays (low radioactivity)
 low density
 low seismic velocity
 low magnetic susceptibility

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Data Recording
 There are generally two methods which are used for data
recording such as:
 geo-logging
 electro-logging
 These methods are used for recording the geological data
from various drill holes.
 Transducers are used to collect the data.
◦ Transducers are the technical devices for producing
electrical signals from another form of energy such as
pressure and temperature.
◦ Transducers are suspended from the mobile trucks into
the drilled holes.

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 Three dimensional field plots are drawn for illustration of :
◦ coal field area
◦ depth of coal beds at various depths
◦ composition and quality of coal
 On the basis of gathered information, mining feasibility
reports are prepared for prospective mining.

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3. Dozer cutting
◦ Exploration of coal outcrops may be accomplished with
dozer cuts at regular intervals.
◦ Dozer cutting provides information on the attitude of the
coal and on the nature of the overburden-important
factors with regard to machine operation.

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 Tonnage factor is used to identify the quantity of reserves
that are present in the field.
 For that purpose following formula is used for calculating
the reserves of coal.

Tonnage factor = 2240 / (g x 62.5 ft3)


where
1 gross ton or long ton = 2240 lbs = 1016 kg
g is the specific gravity of coal, and
1 ft3 of water = 62.5 lbs
Coal Reserve = volume / tonnage factor

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Estimating tons of coal on a property
 An 1,800 tons/acre-foot conversion factor is commonly used to
estimate the coal tonnage.
 This value is derived from the average density of bituminous coal
determined by the U.S. Geological Survey (Wood et al., 1983).
 However, the actual density of coal varies depending on its rank
and composition.
 Relative coal density is measured as specific gravity.
 Specific gravity is the ratio of the mass of an object (solid or
liquid) to the mass of an equal volume of water at 4ºC (39ºF).
◦ For reference, the specific gravity of water = 1.
◦ Materials with specific gravities of less than 1 float in water.
◦ Specific gravities that are greater than 1, sink in water.
◦ Because specific gravity is measured relative to water, specific
gravity, the weight of water, and the area of the seam can be
used to determine tonnage.
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 According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the average
specific gravity of unbroken (solid) bituminous coal is 1.32.
Given that:
Specific gravity of bituminous coal = 1.32
1 ft3 of water = 62.5 lbs
1 acre = 43,560 ft2
1 ton = 2,000 lbs
(1.32 * 62.6 lbs. * 43,560 ft2) / 2,000 lbs/ton = 1,799.72
tons/acre foot, which is rounded off to 1,800 tons/ acre foot

 Short ton = 2000 lbs (907.2 kg)


 Long or gross or imperial ton = 2240 lbs (1016 kg)
 Tonne or metric ton = 2205 lbs (1000 kg)

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 The specific gravity varies with rank, different ranks of
coal have different conversion factors.
Therefore,

Anthracite: specific gravity = 1.47,


so the conversion factor is 2,000 tons/acre foot

Bituminous: specific gravity = 1.32,


which is 1,800 tons/acre foot

Subbituminous: specific gravity = 1.30,


which is 1,770 tons/acre foot

Lignite: specific gravity = 1.29,


which is 1,750 tons/acre foot

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 The specific gravity of coal is important during coal
cleaning because many of the common mineral
impurities in coal have much higher specific gravity
(density) than coal.
 For example, the specific gravity of pyrite (fool's gold),
a common impurity in coal, and the main source of
sulfur in coal, is 4.9 to 5.2.
 Because pyrite is much denser than coal, density
separation techniques can be used during coal cleaning
(washing, beneficiation) to remove much of the pyrite
from coal.

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References:
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/122975/coal-
mining/81668/Draglines

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