Cleaning and dewatering fine coal
Eraydin, Mert K.
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Fine coal is cleaned of its mineral matter impurities and dewatered by mixing the aqueous slurry containing both with a hydrophobic liquid, subjecting the mixture to a phase separation. The resulting hydrophobic liquid phase contains coal particles free of surface moisture and droplets of water stabilized by coal particles, while the aqueous phase contains the mineral matter. By separating the entrained water droplets from the coal particles mechanically, a clean coal product of substantially reduced mineral matter and moisture contents is obtained. The spent hydrophobic liquid is separated from the clean coal product and recycled. The process can also be used to separate one type of hydrophilic particles from another by selectively hydrophobizing one.