Research on antioxidant effect on sponcom

THE effectiveness of applying antioxidants to coal to inhibit spontaneous combustion has been quantified in laboratory tests by eminent researcher Dr Basil Beamish for US giant GE Technology, the Coal 2013 conference in Wollongong has heard.

Lou Caruana

The laboratory testing results of GE’s CoalPlus technology, as matched against the experience and performance of actual coal minesites where the GE technology is being applied, provides a benchmark approach that can be applied to certain type of coals from around the world, according to the research.

GE said as new coal basins were developed in Australia, the range of coals found in the mines provided a challenge to mining operators in identifying the appropriate management strategy for mining and handling of these coals with respect to spontaneous combustion.

The research results are included in the technical paper “Delaying spontaneous combustion of reactive coals through inhibition.”

The paper is co-authored by GE senior product application specialist Umit Turunc, lead engineering product applications specialist Patrick McLellan, lead engineer Michael Raab and senior global product manager Homero Endara.

GE recently collaborated with B3 Mining Services for the research and testing.

“GE’s CoalPlus technology has been developed to provide the coal industry with options to manage spontaneous combustion issues with greater certainty,” B3 Mining Services managing director Beamish said.

“The GE technology can be applied at various stages in the mining, handling, transport and consumption chain, as well as power plants and terminals.

“It takes innovative efforts to make best use of the technology.”

GE claims its technology can reduce dusting by up to 90% during loading, unloading, stack-out and reclamation at mining utilities and coal terminals and significantly decreases in-transit coal losses from rail cars.

It was originally designed for low-rank coals, such as those from the Powder River Basin region in the US, which supplies approximately 40% of all coal in the country.

CoalPlus technology retards the oxidation and weathering of low rank coals, which in turn reduces hot spots, smokers and spontaneous combustion at generating stations, coal terminals and mines.

“GE’s CoalPlus technology is designed to significantly reduce dusting and oxidation at utilities, terminals, mines and in transit,” Endara said.

“The CoalPlus portfolio of dust control binders and antioxidants enhances coal quality, reduces dust emissions and minimises spontaneous combustion, addressing operator safety and environmental compliance, two of the main challenges faced by mines and utilities.”

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