Monday, April 7, 2014

A cleaner way to separate coal and ash

New technology separates coal, ash without chemicals

The new technology is new but has
the potential to curb contamination.
The DriJet 100 is a new technology that can separate coal from ash without using water or chemicals.

The technology, developed by Pennsylvania-based Mineral Separation Technologies, uses x-rays to scan and separate coal from ash. That means it's cleaner, portable and more reliable than traditional coal prep plants.

It's also safer, faster and much more economical.

"It eliminates a lot of risk for us, a lot of potential exposure, that's what we like about it," West Virginia Coal Reclamation Managing Partner Gene Ricciardi said. "It provides on-site separation and cleaning, so we don't have to worry about transporting large volumes of coal in trucks — we're going to be transporting probably one-third of amount in trucks that we normally would.

"There's a lot less possibility of contamination into the water system and air."

The Kanawha County company was first in the industry to purchase the technology, but Ricciardi and his partner, Joe Cornfield, are satisfied it will live up to the hype. Though their system isn't operational yet, Ricciardi said they've run their coal through the machine "and it's worked."

Mineral Separations CEO Charles Roos said the patented technology uses x-rays to identify the atomic weight of the coal particles and then air jets separate coal from ash. The ash is removed from the coal right at the mine face.

"The technology was developed for separating recycled metals and recycled plastics; it's been used for years in that industry," he said. "There have been hundreds of installations around the world in recycling plants.

"About five years ago we noticed electronics had gotten fast enough and sensors fast enough that we could use the technology on (other) material streams."

Roos said the technology means fewer coal trucks on the road and less coal waste in impoundments, both positive changes for the industry. It also requires less horsepower and fewer moving parts, which cuts operating costs.

The DriJet can process 20,000 pieces of coal per second and deliver a higher quality product.

Source: The State Journal

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