Control of coal quality requires a good understanding of how the various stages of the coal chain are linked to subsequent stages i.e. coal exploration programs are linked to coal mining and coal preparation plant performance. Similarly, coal mining is linked to coal preparation plant performance which is in turn linked to coal sales. Finally, coal quality is linked to end-use performance and the price coal achieves in the marketplace. Throughout the coal chain the accurate measurement of coal characteristics is essential to control coal quality and therefore the course also focuses on the correct sampling and analytical tests.
The course includes two and a half days of lecturing and a half-day tour of the Brisbane coal laboratory. A textbook is also provided which covers the topics addressed during the course.
Learning Outcomes - The course is divided into three distinct sections:
- Sampling Preparation
- Coal Analytical Tests
- Coal Analysis
This section allows participants to understand the importance of correct coal sampling methods and how this simple task impacts on the quality of subsequent tests and flow-on decisions. It also introduces a broad range of coal tests and discusses their applicability and accuracy. Finally, it provides participants with an overview of how a laboratory maintains control to produce a quality result.
- Borecore Programs
- Coal Preparation
- Delivery On-Spec Coal
- Port Operations
- Coal Sales and Marketing
This section examines processes occurring within the coal chain and reviews how quality data is derived and how it is used in subsequent stages of the coal chain. It examines borecore programs and how this data is used to design coal preparation plants and to simulate clean coal products. It also reviews mining methods and the concepts of dilution and losses, the control and optimisation of coal preparation plants, and managing coal quality through the logistics train. This section is ultimately focused on the delivery of on-specification coal to the port or end-users and the role contracts play in managing the concerns of coal buyers and sellers.
- Coal Use in Power Generation
- Coal Used in Steelmaking
This section describes the use of coal in coal-fired pulverized fuel power-stations. It also describes the conversion of coal to coke in coke ovens and the role of coke in blast furnaces. It also describes the role of coal in pulverized coal injection systems attached to blast furnaces. In each of these utilisation roles, coal characteristics which are advantageous or deleterious are highlighted, providing the participants with a fundamental understanding of how coal quality impacts on utilisation performance and coal pricing.
Who Should Attend
The course is aimed at professionals from a science or engineering background within the coal industry who need to develop their knowledge of coal, particularly where the decisions made in upstream parts of the coal chain have implications for the salability of the product coals. The course also has demonstrated significant benefit to people who operate within the logistics and coal sales and marketing departments.
Prerequisites and Linking Course
There is no prerequisites for the course. However, a tertiary education with a science or engineering background and exposure to the coal industry for 1-2 year will assist with terminology and context.
Where: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
When: 14-16 June 2022
Venue: Rydges Newcastle, Cnr Merewether Street & Wharf Road, Newcastle, NSW 2300
Additional: Lunch, refreshments, a certificate and extensive course documentation are included.
- Introduction to Coal: (duration 2 hour) this module provides an understanding the role of coal in a modern society. It also provides an overview of variables impacting on coal formation and resultant coal quality. Finally, it provides a framework for understanding coal quality using the concepts of coal rank, type and inorganic impurities, and demonstrates how these are used in coal classification systems.
- Coal Sampling: (duration 2 hours) this module provides an understanding the problems of coal sampling due to coal’s heterogeneity and segregation. It provides a set of general rules of sampling, and an overview of mechanical samplers and manual sampling methods. Participants will participate in a simulated sampling exercise which allows them to review the effect of sample size and sub-sampling on the accuracy of sampling. Sampling concept will be re-enforced with appropriate videos.
- Coal Sample Preparation: (duration 15 minutes) this module reviews the theory and practice of sample top-size reduction and division.
- Coal Analytical Tests: (duration 1.5 hours) This module presents an broad overview of general coal tests, elemental analysis of coal, thermal coal tests, metallurgical coal tests, miscellaneous coal tests. Various analytical test will be examined in operation with the laboratory. Throughout this module, items relevant to the discussion will be passed through the class to highlight various tests.
- Coal Laboratory Quality Control: (duration 0.5 hour) this module reviews national and international standards bodies and standard test methods, repeatability and reproducibility as they apply to sampling and analysis, operator competency, certified reference material, process control, proficiency testing, and data validation.
- Site Tour - Coal Laboratory Inspection: (duration 1.5 hours) this model offers participants to inspect a large-scale, modern coal laboratory; reviewing the process that occur from sample receipt to data generation. In the physical testing laboratory participants will examine the tools used to determine predicted coal breakage behaviour and washability behaviour. In the analytical laboratory participants will acquire a greater understanding of standard gravimetric tests, handleability tests, caking tests and petrographic tests and spontaneous combustion tests.
- Borecore Programs: (duration 1 hours) this module closely examines coal exploration programs with particularly reference to large diameter programs and how they are organised. The module examines how to derive data for design of coal preparation plants and the generation of clean coal composites to simulate coal products.
- Coal Preparation: (duration 3 hours) this module examines the principles of coal preparation and which coal characteristics may be modified by a coal preparation plant. It closely examines segregation by size, density and surface properties of coal. It contrasts separation efficiency in laboratories and in coal preparation plants and how these differences are managed. This knowledge allows understanding of the measurement of the efficiency of individual components or circuits in a coal preparation plant. Throughout the presentation different equipment used in the coarse, fine and ultra-fine circuits are discussed so that the participants have a broad understanding of these items and how they operate. The module also discussed liberation studies. Quality control within an operating plant is reviewed including the use of on-line analysers and rapid tests performed by on-site production laboratories. Demonstrations of density separation using float/sink liquids and the operation of cyclones and flotation columns are also provided.
- Delivering On-specification Coal: (duration 0.5 hours) this module reviews mining methods and their impact on coal quality, the concepts of loss and dilution, mine planning and reconciliation, management of quality management through the coal chain using 1) tools available in the stacking reclaiming of coal and 2) at the export terminal.
- Coal Sales: (duration 0.5 h) this module examines how both coal buyers and sellers concerns are managed by a coal contract. It also reviews key aspects of contracts, types of contracts and swaps.
- Coal Use in Power-stations: (3 hours) this module focuses on coal-fired power-stations as they operate in the internationally trade thermal coal market with particular reference to the export markets of Japan, South Korea and China. It provides a review of the steam, combustion and ash systems in a power-station, measurement of boiler performance, the impact of coal quality and boiler performance, environmental aspects of coal combustion, advances in efficiency of pf power-stations. Participants are required to complete an exercise which is highlights the advantages and disadvantages of various thermal coal qualities on the operation of a power-station.
Site Tour - Pilot-scale Carbonisation and Combustion Facility Inspection: (2.0 hours) This module allow participants to inspect a pilot-scale coke testing facility and to develop an understanding of the transformation of coal to coke and the test that are performed on the resultant coke. It also examines a pilot-scale boiler simulation furnace and how it is used to benchmark the combustion performance of a coal against a broad range of other internationally traded coals.
Coal Use in Steelmaking: (3.5 hours) this module reviews the primary pathway for steel production; the smelting reduction process. This is introduced via a detailed understanding of the coal to coke transformation and a review of the individual components of an integrated steel plant i.e. the coke battery, sinter plant, blast furnace, and basic oxygen system, and how these components fit together. The participants are then provided with an understanding of the measurement of coke quality and how coke quality impacts on blast furnace performance. The various coke tests are then tied back to coal tests, thus showing how to predict of coke quality from coal data. Finally, alternative steelmaking technologies are described and compared to the integrated steel plant and with a view to understanding steelmaking into the future. Videos are used to demonstrate the operation of industrial coke ovens and steel plants.
Coal Use in Pulverized Coal Injection Processes: (2 hours) this module provides an overview of how a pulverized coal injection plant operates within the steel mill. It highlights issues of milling and handling prior to the blast furnace and the impact of PCI on blast furnace operation. As a part of the presentation, participants will acquire an understanding of the economic benefits of PCI to steel mills.
Course Summary: (0.5 h) this module provides time for participants to complete feedback forms and for participants to be presented with certificates of attendance and USB sticks with pdf files of the various presentations.
Adrian Reifenstein M.Sc.
ALS Coal Services, General Manager – 30+ years’ experience in coal analysis and carbonisation testing and research in Canada and Australia.
Alan Pickup ADAC, ADBLT, Grad Dip Eng
ALS Coal Services, Quality & Technical Coordinator – 34 years’ experience in coal analysis, quality and coal preparation.
Don Holcombe B.E.
ALS Coal Services, Principal Consultant, Thermal Coal –30+ years’ experience in coal evaluation and consulting for coal-fired power generation.
ALS Coal Services, Business Unit Manager, Coal Technology
has 12 years’ experience in coal analysis, coal mining and carbonisation testing
ALS Coal Services, Superintending Manager
has 21 years’ experience in mining, coal analysis and coal superintending business