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Coal preparation plants are designed to clean impurities, such as soil, sand and rock from coal, to ready it for transportation to power plants and coking facilities for use in steel processing. Monitoring flow through the coal preparation process can be difficult as the coal is abrasive and can cause inaccuracies and maintenance issues for intrusive instruments. A Coal preparation plant generally use gravity process equipment to separate the refuse from the product (coal). Coal has a specific gravity between 1.35 and 1.5, while the refuse rock has a Specific Gravity of 2.1 to 2.3. Heavy Media is the most popular method of cleaning coarse sizes. Heavy media cyclones are being used more often for fines size fractions. Flotation is generally used to clean the -28 mesh size fraction, although spirals and heavy media cyclones have shown success in cleaning down to 100 mesh coal feed. Spirals are generally used for middling sizes. Modular Coal Preparation Plants (MCPP) prepares coal for a cleaner burning process, enhanced calorific value and cleaner emissions. MCPPs consist of several modules including a raw coal preparation (crushing and screening station), a coal feed and washing module (jigging and Heavy Medium cyclone) as well as a dewatering module.

Designing the Coal Preparation Plant of the Future provides comprehensive overview on several current and future challenges that must be considered in the design and operation of coal preparation facilities. These challenges dictate that we constantly strive to improve plant. Coal Preparation Engineers are meeting this challenge of the future by designing large modem environmentally acceptable plants.