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Jody D. Porter

Summary of Consol Energy Summer Scholarship Program - Jody D. Porter

During the summer of 2000, I had the opportunity to gain valuable experience while working in Dr. B. K. Parekh's Coal Preparation Group at the UK Center for Applied Energy Research. The knowledge I gained during my three-month stint will no doubt be very useful as I prepare to complete my studies as a mining engineering student at the University of Kentucky.

Under the tutelage of John Wiseman and Darryl McLean, I was introduced to and became proficient in several analytical steps in coal preparation, such as the crushing and grinding of samples, wet and dry screening, ash and sulfur analysis, and particle size analysis using the Cilas 1064 Granulometer. While my sole responsibility was a dewatering project for Dr. Daniel Tao, I was also able to assist Dr. Ricky Honaker and graduate student Vedat Ursavich with two projects from which I learned a great deal. Using the Davis Tube, Vedat and I ran samples collected from a magnetic separator. The magnetic separator was run with different parameters, such as field strength and flow rate, and the Davis Tube was used to recover magnetite from these samples with the hope that the ideal settings for the magnetic separator could be found to minimize the amount of magnetite in the coal. I also assisted them with a project using a Stokes Hydrosizer to separate ash particles from clean coal.

My project for the summer was a dewatering project. I used coal from Powell Mountain Coal Company and a vacuum filter to do the tests. A computer was used to measure the weight of the filtrate as a function of time. This, along with cake formation time, cake thickness, and cake moisture were the parameters I observed during these tests. In the first series of tests, vacuum pressure differences were applied to the sample, ranging from 15 in.Hg to 25 in.Hg. Different amounts of flocculant were added to evaluate the effect it had on the parameters. For another set of tests, I connected a stirring device to stir the slurry during cake formation. Finally, I used different size fractions, ranging from 6-8 mesh down to 325-400 mesh, to see what effect particle size has on the dewatering process.

I feel confident that with the knowledge I gained during my employment at the CAER, I will one day enter the work force prepared to handle the tasks I may be presented. My appreciation is to B.K., John, and Darryl for their patience and time spent teaching me their trade and to Marybeth McAlister for giving me the opportunity to advance my learning outside the classroom. I am also extremely grateful to CONSOL INC, not only for the funds they provided, but also for their dedication to mining engineering students. The opportunities they provide students are assurance that the engineers will go into their careers prepared.