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Coal Process Control

Supplier: Scantech International

Your plant's output may be increasing, but your quality assurance is struggling to keep up.


Operators must meet product specifications with cost-effective process control, with the scalability to keep plants operating efficiently and effectively. Scantech's process control solutions deliver what's needed. In fact, more coal is monitored each day by Scantech's process control solutions, than by all other companies combined.

The wide range of online analyser technologies available ensures that the right instrument is selected as part of each site's individual solution. Alongside our analyser technology we have developed our own user friendly display and process control software. This ensures complete process control solutions. 

Coal Sorting

Coal sorting is a process of separating a single coal stream into two or more streams of different qualities.

Coal sorting reduces the total tonnes of coal which has to be washed, assisting the mine's profitability by:

  • Reducing the capital cost of a green field site, allowing total output to be achieved with a smaller washery
  • Improving the overall product yield, by achieving 100% saleable tonnes from all coal bypassed
  • Reducing total coal washing costs
  • Minimising overall product moisture

The COALSCAN range of coal quality on-line analysis systems completely covers the full spectrum of sorting applications required by the coal industry.

Plant Bypass Control
Preparation Plant Bypass Control in real time of the resulting coal quality.

Optimising Coal Washeries
On-Line analysis provides real time information to:

  • Give advance warning to operators about changes in raw coal feed quality. Any significant changes can be remedied, by altering the blend of the coal which is being fed to the plant from the mine or the raw coal stockpile.
  • Identify periods of higher quality coal, which may not require washing, thus saving costs, reducing moisture and increasing yield.
  • Assist operators in selecting operating parameters, such as density and cutpoints, for the plant. This decision making can be updated regularly as the coal is produced, rather than several hours after the product coal is stockpiled, when analysis becomes available.
  • Give operators real time feedback on the quality of the product coal, and on cumulative quality of the production lot compared to specification. This permits fine tuning of the washery over the remaining tonnes in the lot, ensuring that penalties are avoided whilst maximising yield. Real time product analysis allows significant product quality deviations to be detected as they occur. Corrective actions can be initiated immediately, rather than after shift analyses become available several hours, even days, later.
  • Provide input to the optimum placement of coal in the stockpile, to permit blending with the minimum amount of rehandle.
  • Avoid major penalties from deliveries of out of specification coal. Even a short period of out of specification production can require major adjustments to the washery settings to make the rest of the shipment considerably better than specification, so that the whole lot meets the customer requirements. This can have a major impact on overall plant yield and production costs. Real time information can avoid these costly problems.

Real Time Blending Control

Blending from stockpiles can provide a consistent quality product, which ensures that specifications are met and the best possible use is made of the resources. The COALSCAN becomes fully integrated with the blending operation. This applies not only to coal producers preparing shipments, but also coal users, such as power stations or steel plants, blending coal to get the optimum product for the down stream process.

In setting up the blend, it is unrealistic to assume that the entire stockpile is homogeneous. The stockpile will have been constructed from coal from a variety of sources or washing characteristics. Calculating the required proportions of the blend using the average figures is thus risky. A smarter solution is to monitor the quality of the coal as it is withdrawn from the stockpile, and determine the blend proportions based on actual quality on the conveyor.

The major benefits of the COALSCAN Blending Control Package are:

  • Maximise use of a low value coal resource, hence minimising the use of the high value coal product
  • "Real time" information ensures early control action can be taken in case of unexpected stockpile quality deviations
  • On-line consignment monitoring gives early warning of quality deviations- no more contract penalty payments
  • Accepts input from up to 5 stockpiles
  • Use of individually tailored control strategies for site specific control algorithms
  • Boundary conditions can be set for a range of parameters such as ash, moisture, sulfur, specific energy, etc.