Eskom to undertake world first in coal analysis

MINERALS analysis company Intellection has sold its Qemscan system to South African power utility Eskom, opening up new markets for the technology and aiding in a world first for coal analysis.
Eskom to undertake world first in coal analysis Eskom to undertake world first in coal analysis Eskom to undertake world first in coal analysis Eskom to undertake world first in coal analysis Eskom to undertake world first in coal analysis

Intellection's QEMSCAN system for rapidly evaluating mineral samples.

Angie Tomlinson

The 65th system sold globally, the Eskom purchase represents the first commercial use of Qemscan for coal analysis, and the first by a power generation company anywhere in the world.

Intellection CEO Calvin Treacy said the sale was a milestone for the Australia-based company.

“There is real potential for our technology to produce tangible benefits for coal exploration, mining, handling and processing, power generation and other coal users, so we’re delighted Eskom is showing the world how it’s done,” he said.

Eskom is owned by the South African Government and generates 95% of electricity used throughout the country. It ranks among the top seven utilities in the world for generation capacity.

As a large consumer of coal, Eskom is seeking to use the resource more efficiently, and will apply Qemscan data to predict coal performance in a pulverised fuel boiler and environmental impacts.

The system will initially be used to establish a research program, and then operationally for decision-making within the Generation Division.

“Qemscan gives us a thorough understanding of the mineral/phase composition of our coal and ash,” Eskom chief advisor Chris van Alphen said.

“From this knowledge, we have developed models to predict with some degree of certainty the performance of certain coal types in our boilers. This provides an opportunity to efficiently manage our coal supplies, reduce incidence of unplanned outages and to reduce the impact on the environment.

“The potential of using Qemscan in research to determine the elemental and maceral proportions is being actively investigated by Eskom. This, combined with the proven mineral/phase identification capability of Qemscan, will provide a comprehensive and cost-effective analysis of coal.”

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