Drying of fine coal using air in a fluidized bed
Le Roux, M.
Van Rensburg, M.J.
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Fluidised bed drying is currently receiving much attention as a dewatering option during the beneficiation of fine (defined here as between 1 mm and 2 mm particles) coal. Apart from concerns about safety and combustion, the operating costs can be high if very high gas or air temperatures are used. The aim of this study was to investigate the removal of moisture from fine coal by using air at a lower temperature (25-55°C) within a controlled environment by lowering of the relative humidity of the air. It was firstly proven that fluidization has a major advantage over non-fluidized beds, with regards to drying rate and final moisture content. Hereafter several parameters that influence the dewatering rate and final moisture content were tested, from which it was concluded that the relative humidity of air acts as the largest driving force for dewatering. Parameters tested included relative humidity, temperature and coal composition. Energy balances showed a positive nett energy increase in the dried coal during combustion when related to the energy input during drying. In comparison with thermal drying technologies, fluidized bed drying was proven to be less energy intensive. It was therefore shown that this is a viable technology for the dewatering of fine coal
- Faculty of Engineering