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Air Pollution Control for Coal-Fired Power Systems in Eastern Europe

AUTHOR: Gordon Couch
DATE: February 1996

Coal preparation to upgrade run of mine coal is complex activity, Ultimately, the objective is to maximise the profitability of the mining and preparation activity.

This Perspectives report summarises the process involved, The sensors and actuators which can measure some of the conditions are described. The accuracy and reliability of sensing devices are the fundamental importance to control any system. In recent years, computers have been increasingly used in connection with process control because of their capacity to analyze large amounts of data and to initiate a control signal which can be used to adjust some desired control function.

Because of the limitations of instrumentation and control equipment, plant operators and management continue to play a vital role in the control and optimization of plant. However, new techniques are being used which have considerable potential in terms of providing more accurate information in real time on the basis of which new control algorithms can be developed . These techniques include various forms of on-line analysis for both solids on a belt, and for some slurries. They also include nucleonic methods for measuring the density of bed material in a jig during pulsation.

The degree of plant control which is feasible depends on the consistency of the coal coming from the mine. Many plants take coal from different seams, and some from different mines.

In spite of the fact that many aspects of the plant operation do not lend themselves to measurement control, well-run plants operate smoothly and efficiently. More work needs to be done to make 'best practice' procedures more widely known, and to develop the necessary measuring techniques.