Release analysis (RA) and float-sink (F-S) data were generated to assess the beneficiation potential of washed coals from selected Illinois coal preparation plants through the use of advanced physical cleaning at -60 mesh size. Generally, the F-S process removed greater amounts of ash, sulfur, and trace elements of environmental concern from the coals than the RA process, indicating that the cleanability of Illinois coals by advanced methods can be estimated best by F-S testing. At an 80%-combustibles recovery, the ash yield in the clean F-S products decreased by 47-75%, relative to the parent coals. Average decreases for the elements As(67%), Cd(78%), Hg(73%), Mn(71%), and P(66%) exceeded the average decrease for ash yield (55%). Average decreases for other elements were: Co(31%), Cr(27%), F(39%), Ni(25%), Pb(50%), S(28%), Sb(20%), Se(39), Th(32%), and U(8%). Only Be was enriched (up to 120%) in the clean products relative to the parent coals. These results suggested that the concentration of elements with relatively high atmospheric mobilities (As, Cd, F, Hg, Pb, and Se) during coal combustion can be reduced substantially in Illinois coals through the use of advanced physical cleaning. Advanced physical cleaning can be effective also for the removal of inorganic S. Environmental risks from the emission of other elements with enrichment or relatively low cleanabilities could be small because these elements generally have very low concentrations in Illinois coals or are largely retained in solid residues during coal combustion. ?? 1998 OPA (Overseas Publishers Association) N.V. Published by license under the Gordon and Breach Science Publishers imprint.
Additional publication details
Removal of ash, sulfur, and trace elements of environmental concern from eight selected Illinois coals