Coal Prep 
Celebrates 20 Years

By: Bill Reid
Managing Editor


    This year, Coal Prep, the International Conference and Trade Show for the coal preparation industry, celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Coal Prep, which is sponsored by Coal Age, allows the coal preparation community to keep up with the latest in technology and equipment developments.
    Over the last 20 years, Coal Prep has examined such subjects as processing plant location, design considerations, research and development, costs, and considered coal preparation activities around the world. Since 1983, Coal Prep has been held each year and has attracted 55,000 delegates who have heard over 400 presentations. 

    The Coal Prep program is put together each year by a committee of coal preparation experts. Coal Prep takes place over three days and provides excellent networking opportunities to:
Evaluate products and services for purchase on the Exhibit Hall floor.
Gain new insight into the most effective preparation methods being used.
Learn from top industry experts offering solutions to Coal Prep challenges.
Discover the latest coal preparation technology available.
    In addition, Coal Prep offers:
A Coal Prep short course presented by Professor Gerald Luttrell of Virginia Tech, Bob Bratton from CAST and Rick Honaker from the University of Kentucky.
Part III of the blending workshop presented by Mel Laurila of Quality Control, Inc.
A second workshop: Matching Plant Design to Seam Characteristic presented by David Carris, Vice President of John T. Boyd, Co.
    Many months of work have gone into the development of the conference program with two opening keynote addresses; the first Quecreek Mine: Rescue of Nine is by Joseph Gallo, Vice President, Quecreek Mining, who describes the miracle at Quecreek; Coal Preparation: A World View is presented by Russell J. Kempnich, Executive Chairman, Sedgman Pty. Limited who takes a look at coal preparation in the top twelve hard coal producing countries of the world.
    There are four technical sessions over the three days including Coal Preparation I, RealTime Analysis, Reagents, Coal Preparation II. These sessions provide details of the latest coal preparation techniques, not only in the United States, but also in many countries around the world.
    Coal Prep 2003 includes several special events in addition to the opening keynote addresses. On Monday, April 28, the Coal Prep 2003 golf tournament takes place at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort. The following evening, a cocktail reception takes place in the relaxed atmosphere of the Exhibit Hall. On Wednesday, April 30, the Coal Prep 20th Anniversary Party festivities take place as the 20th Anniversary is celebrated of Coal Prep leading the industry for 20 years.


Some 200 coal preparation plants are operating in the United States

    Over the years a number of exhibitors at Coal Prep have grown to around 200, as companies establish the value of exhibiting the latest in technology and equipment development in the expansive exhibit hall.
    The Coal Prep schedule begins on Monday, April 28 with registration, the coal preparation short course, and golf at Marriott Griffin Gate. Tuesday is the day of the keynote addresses with the exhibit hall opening and Workshop I: Plant Design followed by the technical sessions and cocktail reception.

    On Wednesday the technical sessions continue with the exhibit hall being open and Workshop II: Blending Part III. The technical sessions follow and the 20th Anniversary Party takes place in the evening. On Thursday, there are more technical sessions and the exhibit hall is open until noon.
Many developments in coal preparation have taken place since the first dense media cyclone, using metal chloride salts dissolved in water, was patented in 1858. The Chance Process using water and sand was patented in 1917 and was first applied to cleaning bituminous coal in 1925. In 1938, the Tromp Process for magnetite medium was used commercially. The purpose of these and other developments was to improve the quality of coal to make it suitable for a specific purpose. Since about 90% of the coal produced in the U.S. is used to generate electricity, the properties and quantities of impurities in coal are of major importance in the design and operation of steam generating equipment. Also because of the lower quality of raw coal and the desire to recover more of the coal that is mined, the practices of coal preparation are increasing in importance. 
    Preparation plants currently in use today are efficient for ash reduction, pyrite, and trace element removal. The alloy and ceramic materials of construction have permitted extended equipment operating life. Future improvements in the area of coal preparation include better equipment for processing fine coal of -28 mesh. This includes efficient and low cost methods for coal non-coal separation, fine coal dewatering, and automatic control systems for the entire coal preparation plant. These new developments and others will be discussed by those coal preparation experts from around the world attending the 20th Anniversary of Coal Prep at the Lexington Center, Lexington, Kentucky. cl


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