Haulage rates improve with catalyst

A QUEENSLAND thermal coal mine using the FPC combustion catalyst has increased the truck haulage rates from 430.8 to 452.7 tonnes/truck hour operated over a 12 month period.

Lou Caruana

The 5.1% increase in material shifted and 8.3% increase in tonnes shifted per litre of diesel also cut down fuel costs.

The FPC Combustion Catalyst is known to burn fuel at a faster, and more efficient rate that more closely approximates ideal combustion, according to the company.

More of the fuel’s energy is released closer to piston top dead centre, with less wasteful tail-end burning in the exhaust system. As a result of this, the faster FPC fuel burn increases developed power per unit of fuel consumed.

At any specified power requirement less fuel will be required. At maximum fuel delivery, maximum outputs of power and torque are increased, enabling more work to be performed, and with reduced stress.

What this means for haul trucks is faster haul times, and more cycles achieved per month. When governed speed is reached, less fuel is required with the FPC catalyst. However, diesel loaders, excavators and shovels always work at full power, and the increased power results in greater “break out” forces, faster response and faster truck loading cycles. In turn, that results in improved truck utilisation, as idle time in queues is reduced.

This further improves truck operating to idling ratios resulting in increased tonnes per hour.

On the equipment availability front, the FPC enhanced combustion also oxidises carbon deposits from combustion and exhaust spaces. Hard carbon build-up is a major cause of engine wear, increased stresses, and is also blamed for many catastrophic failures resulting in unplanned downtime.

Consequently, the level of abrasive soot in lube oil is significantly reduced, resulting in marked reductions in engine wear profiles. FPC use results in longer intervals between rebuilds, and reduced carbon related failures of valves, turbochargers and injectors. Identifying, minimising and avoiding such maintenance defects are major tasks in successfully pushing out production figures.

The cumulative effects of increased power, reduced unplanned maintenance and extended engine service life combine to produce a step improvement in production.

The cumulative financial benefits of increased productivity and lower whole of life maintenance costs are also substantial. Additional energy savings are significant, due to the more efficient fuel combustion. In the example above, some 8.3% higher tonnage of material was handled per litre of diesel, enhanced by the FPC’s action. It’s what every mining operation actively seeks ... higher production efficiency, and lower cost per unit of production.

Environmental effects are also positive, with reductions in carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and diesel particulate emissions (DPE). Importantly, both the mass and number of DPE’s is reduced substantially.

Competitive products contain hundreds of times the active material as FPC requires, and increase total number of particles, especially the more health damaging ultra-fines, even though they may reduce the overall mass of DPEs.