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On-Line Analysis of Coal

AUTHOR: Andrew T. Kirchner
DATE: September 1991

On-line analysis, which permits the almost instantaneous monitoring of coal quality information, is gaining increasing acceptance. This report describes the principles behind the technology, the equipment available, its application in the coal industry and the economic benefits that can be obtained. On-line analysis can be used to measure several important bulk coal quality parameters, such as ash, heating value and moisture. It can also provide information on the elemental composition of the coal.

Over 450 on-line ash and elemental analysers are in operation worldwide. A comprehensive list of current analyser installations is included in this report. An important advantage of this technology is the ability to monitor large samples of coal in many cases several hundred tonnes per hour. With such flow rates, sampling errors are reduced so that the sample analysed is likely to be more representative of the total load.

Many users have demonstrated that it is possible to use this 'instantaneous' information to optimise production, processing and utilisation operations.