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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Coal blending model : theory and application of the model Bauer, Edwin Alois


Over the past decade, most Western Canadian coal mines have been forced to mine deposits containing multiple seams of coal, with varying coal qualities. This change in mining practice has caused considerable challenges for coal washery personnel. Blending or homogenization of these multiple seams has been the standard approach in attempting to minimize the disruption to washery operations. The purpose of this research was to develop a method of quantifying the effects of a controlled blending program on preparation plant yield, thus providing a way to optimize the blending program within the constraints of the mining program, the processing unit operations, and the final product quality constraints. A yield-based objective function called the Coal Blending Coefficient was developed to evaluate the effects of blending on preparation plant yield. This formula can be described as the difference in yield between blending and batching of the same coals. The Coal Blending Coefficient was then incorporated into a collection of existing computer programs called the CANMET Coal Data Manipulation Programs, and after some modifications, the Coal Blending Model was produced. The Coal Plant Simulation program, which is included in the CANMET program, is the heart of the model, while the Coal Blending coefficient values allow the model to rank the blends . To date, approximately twenty runs of the Coal Blending Model have been tried on coals from three British Columbia coal deposits. The results range from zero benefit of blending for similar quality seams, to potential gains of over five percent increase in yield for highly varied seam qualities. Most runs produced Coal Blending Coefficient values in excess of one, which represent a potential gain in profits of over ten million dollars for the Western Canadian coal industry. Though these initial trials have been successful, further improvements must be made to the Coal Blending Model, and actual field testing performed before this model would be available for use within the industry.

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