Mineral Processing: Critical Technologies for Cleaning Coal and Reducing Emissions

9 May 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Coal is a valuable resource in the modern industry, even though the energy produced is non-renewable. This fossil fuel is considerably abundant in the ground, and it is relatively easy to obtain through surface and underground mining methods. Unfortunately, coal produces emissions which have a negative impact on the environment during use. The pollutants contribute to global warming and other related effects. Therefore, you should consider cleaning your coal after the mining process. Clean coal attracts more buyers due the eco-friendly properties, and it can be sold at a higher price. Here are the primary technologies to consider for cleaning coal in your mineral processing operation.

Coal Washing

As implied, coal washing involves removing the main impurities from the mineral by using different cleaning methods. This will improve the quality of the energy produced and subsequently, your profit. On the other hand, you must invest in equipment and other resources required for washing the coal. The common technique to consider for your company involves using a bath. Basically, the coal rocks will be crushed into smaller chunks and introduced into the industrial container. The coal will float to the top while impurities that increase emissions, like sulphur compounds, will sink. Once the mineral is dry, it will be produce cleaner by-products when burned.


The coal gasification method is not a new technology, but it has been advanced over the years to accommodate modern needs. The technique requires more work, time and advanced machinery, so it might not be plausible if you have a small operation. However, if you expand your industrial setup, you can increase your profits by choosing gasification. As suggested, the technique involves converting the mined coal into a synthesis fuel gas. Generally, the mineral will be exposed to pressurised air and steam. The stress exerted will force the carbon in the coal to sever its bonds. The free carbon will combine with hydrogen from steam to produce methane during the production process. The produced gas can be used in internal combustion engines and electricity production.

Flue-Gas Desulphurisation

The desulphurisation technique is not per se a coal cleaning technology, but it contributes to the reduction of harmful emissions released. You should consider investing in flue-gas desulphurisation if you provide energy to consumers by carrying out combustion within your industrial set-up. The desulphurisation technique involves removing the sulphur dioxide produced after burning impurities together with the coal. For example, the most popular technology to consider uses limestone slurry to trap sulphur, preventing its release.

For more information about keeping your coal as clean and user friendly as possible, contact a company that specializes in mining engineering