Coal preparation plant

Economic and operating conditions make it important to provide a simple, low cost, efficient method for recovering fine coal from washery waste. Not only is the water pollution problem a serious one, but refuse storage and disposal in many areas is becoming limited and more difficult. Many breakers and washeries efficiently handle the coarser sizes, but waste the coal fines. This problem is assuming major importance due to the increase in the amount of coal fines being produced by the mechanization of coal mining.


Flotation offers a very satisfactory low-cost method for recovering a fine, low ash, clean coal product at a profit. Often this fine coal, when combined with the cleaned, coarser fractions, results in an over-all superior product, low in ash and sulphur, giving maximum profit returns per unit mined.

Fine Coal Flotation Circuit Flowsheet

Coal Flotation

Generally a very simple flotation flowsheet, as illus­trated above, will be suitable for recovering the low ash coal present in waste from coarse recovery washeries. Assuming the fines are approximately all minus 20 mesh and in a water slurry of about 20% to 25% solids, the first step is to condition with a reagent which will promote flotation of the fine coal particles. Kerosene, fuel oil, coal tars and similar hydrocarbons will accomplish this effectively when added to the coal slurry in a (Patented) Super Agitator and Conditioner. A frothing agent such as pine oil, alcohol frother, or cresylic acid added to the slurry as it discharges from the conditioner is also used. The separation between low ash coal and high ash refuse is efficiently accomplished in a “Sub-A” Flotation Machine. As the amount of clean coal floated represents a high percentage of the initial feed, provision is made to remove the cleaned coal from both sides of the cell. Fine coal is dewatered with a Disc Filter, as the Flotation Machine can usually be regulated to produce a product low in ash and with proper density for direct filtration.

Coarse Coal Flotation Circuit

Coal Flotation

It is highly desirable to extend the range of coal flotation to include the coarser Sizes. Not only will this simplify general washery practice but will result in a superior product having desirable marketing charac­teristics for metallurgical and steam power plant uses. It is now possible to efficiently recover coal by flota­tion through the entire size range beginning at about 4 mesh down to fines, minus 200 mesh. With the flowsheet as outlined for coarse coal recovery, the feed is first deslimed for removal of high ash slimes and excess water. The hydroclassifier underflow is conditioned at 40% to 45% solids with kerosene or fuel oil and diluted with water to 20%-25% solids prior to flotation. If pyrite and coarse high ash material are present, it is often helpful to pass the conditioned pulp over a mineral jig for removal of a portion of these impurities. Hindered settling in the jig against a rising pulsating water column classifies out the high gravity impurities and eliminates them from the flotation circuit. Water requirements are low and feed density to flotation can easily be maintained at the proper level. 

Two typical Coal Process Flowsheet Diagram

Flowsheet A

This is a typical flowsheet for a small coal mine operation where low ash fines are contaminated with high ash materials due to mechanized mining.


Because of its limited output, treatment must be very simple and operating costs kept to a minimum. At the washery, illustrated by flowsheet A, the entire mine output is sold for coking coal. Mining the relatively narrow seam produces a product with 15 to 20% ash, although the coal when cleaned will carry only 3 to 3½% ash. This low ash coal brings a premium price, so it is an economic necessity to remove the impurities.

The mine run coal is crushed to a size for coking coal requirements. The entire production is treated over a coal jig which removes as waste primarily the coarse refuse. The coarse clean coal passes over the jig along with the fines and is elevated to a wedge bar stationary screen with 1 millimeter openings for dewatering. The coarse clean coal passing over the screen discharges by gravity into a storage bin. The fine coal, along with clay and its high ash fractions and water averaging 15 to 18% solids, discharges by gravity into a (Patented) Super Agitator and Conditioner. Kerosene and pine oil are added and the conditioned slurry or pulp then is introduced into the  Coal Flotation Machine.

The low ash coal is floated to the cell surface and is removed from both sides of the machine by revolving froth paddles. The refuse passes out the end of the machine and is discarded to waste.

The low ash coal product removed from the  Coal Flotation Cells contains 35 to 40% solids and is transferred to the coarse coal storage bin through a Vertical Concentrate pump. The flotation coal mixes with the coarse product which allows for adequate drainage and minimum loss of fines.

Flowsheet B

In the operation as illustrated by flowsheet “B,” approximately 15 tons per hour of coal flotation concentrate are produced. This installation requires more control to meet specifications and consequently a more elaborate system is necessary.


Mine run coal, after crushing, is wet screened to remove fines and the coarse fraction is treated by gravity to produce a dewatered high ash refuse which is discarded to waste.

Screen undersize and water containing fines from the gravity separator are thickened in a centrifugal or cyclone separator to give the proper water-to-solids ratio for subsequent treatment. The effluent from the cyclone contains collodial slimes and high ash fines in addition to the bulk of the water from screening and gravity systems. Thickened coal fines from the cyclone pass over a Mineral Jig which removes a high ash refuse and free pyrite down as fine as 150 to 200 mesh.

The coal fines passing over the Jig are conditioned with reagents in the (Patented) Super Agitator and Conditioner and subjected to flotation treatment in a 6-cell “Sub-A” Coal Flotation Machine at approximately 20-25% solids. Double overflow of froth is used due to the low ratio of concentration and the high weight percentage of floatable coal recovered by flotation.

The coal flotation product at 35% solids is dewatered by a Disc Filter. Coarse coal from the gravity section and fine coal from the flotation section are blended and transferred by rail to the coke plant.

In some cases the coarse and fine coal are dewatered by Dillon Vibrating Screens. The coarser fractions of coal are first added to the screen to form a bed and flotation fines are added on top of this bed for dewatering. Where operating conditions are favorable, this system is preferred to other means of dewatering as it assures a well blended product low in moisture and uniform in ash content.

Effluent from the cyclone, high ash jig refuse and flotation tailing refuse are thickened in a Thickener to conserve and re-use water. Thickener refuse is disposed of without contaminating local streams.

More details please contact sinonine technology team

It is widely used in Various types of coals such as meagre coal,  lignite coal, .charred coal,candle coal etc..

Coal Flotation

Coal Flotation