Parameter Evaluation and Modeling of a Fine Coal Dewatering Screen-Bowl Centrifuge

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Virginia Tech

A vast majority of coal and mineral cleaning and upgrading processes involve the addition of water. The water allows the movement of particles throughout the processing plant and the upgrading of the material. When the process is complete the finished product must be dewatered. This is due to storage concerns, in which the water takes up a majority of the space, and high transportation costs, in which no compensation is obtained from the buyer for the shipment of the liquid. Dewatering is accomplished by many devices, with the two most common pieces of equipment being the screen-bowl centrifuge and disk filter.

This thesis tests and compares the effect of reagents on dewatering using the screen-bowl centrifuge and disk filter. Coal was obtained from the Upper Banner, Pittsburgh No. 8, Taggart, and Dorchester seams, crushed and ground to the desired size, and run through the dewatering circuits. The results showed that the moisture content of the product can be greatly reduced in the disk filter while being only slightly reduced in the screen-bowl centrifuge. It was also shown that the recovery can be slightly increased in the screen-bowl centrifuge. Overall, with the addition of reagents, the disk filter outperformed the centrifuge in both recovery and moisture content.

A model was also developed for the screen-bowl centrifuge. The results from the screen-bowl tests helped in the development of this model. This model can be used to predict the moisture content of the product, the recovery, particle size distribution of the effluent and particle size distribution of the product. The model also predicted how the product moisture and recovery were affected by changing the feed flow rate, feed percent solids, centrifuge speed, and particle size distribution.

screen-bowl centrifuge, dewatering, coal, disk filter, reagents, model