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DustNot Syn Reduces Pellet Dust by 90%

As the world looks for cleaner, more eco-friendly and cost-effective ways to produce energy, the interest in using biomass as an alternative to coal and lignite has seen an increase.  While using biomass pellets, particularly torrefied pellets, provides many advantages, facilities using them still face the dust, spontaneous combustion, and other handling issues associated with conventional solid fossil fuels.

MinTech chemists have conducted extensive tests to see if using our DustNot Syn product is as effective at curing the biomass pellet ails as it is the coal.  Spoiler Alert: It is.

Spontaneous Coal Combustion Part 2: Chemical Inhibitors

Chris Raymond

 

 

This blog post is part two of a three-part series on spontaneous coal combustion.  In this post, we focus on preventative measures and controls, and in the upcoming post we’ll take a look at best practices. Click Here to Read Part 1: A Burning Mystery to review history and research on the topic.

 

Anyone who has worked with Powder River Basin (PRB) coal knows how susceptible it is to spontaneous combustion. It is not a matter of if it will catch fire, but when. With so many coal-fired power plants switching to PRB coal due to its low-sulfur properties to meet tighter emission regulations, many utilities are facing newer storage and handling challenges, with fires being a primary concern. Thus, early detection and prevention of spontaneous coal combustion is of great value to industry.

Spontaneous Coal Combustion Part 1: A Burning Mystery

Chris Raymond

 

This blog post is part one of a three-part series on spontaneous coal combustion.  In this post, we focus on the history and research, and in the upcoming posts we’ll take a look at preventative measures and best practices.

 

When coal burns, it releases carbon dioxide, water, heat, sulfur, particulate matter, and other compounds into the air, while leaving behind ash that is laden with silica, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and other compounds.  When this combustion occurs inside a controlled environment under controlled conditions, such as in a coal-fired power plant, the emissions can be scrubbed of toxins and the ash can be contained and properly managed.  However, when this combustion occurs in uncontrolled environments (i.e. coal mines, piles, silos, barges, seams, etc.), these toxins are freely released into the environment.  While the direct casualties and damages of these fires are relatively small, the indirect and cumulative effects of this uncontrolled burning of coal are monumental.  So, what causes this uncontrolled burning?

Can President Trump Trigger a Coal Industry About-Face?

Kendra Cato

 

On January 20, 2017 Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. During his campaign, he assured the citizens of this country he would Make America Great Again, and one of the many ways he promised to reach that goal was through reviving the coal industry. One avenue President Trump has vowed to take is the dismantling of the Obama administration’s coal regulations, including the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan (CPP) is a rule proposed in 2015 under the Clean Air Act to force power plants to decrease their carbon emissions, helping to address climate change.

Critics of the CPP say it is an assault on the coal industry that will kill jobs while greatly increasing energy costs for the American consumer. Supporters say it’s an historical step in the right direction of fighting pollution and climate change that will have little effect on the already-declining coal industry.

The CPP was stayed by the Supreme Court a year ago, in February 2016, and with Trump’s election and subsequent nominations of Scott Pruitt (a self-proclaimed “leading activist against the EPA’s activist agenda”) to the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court, it’s not clear how the plan will go forward. However, the issues the CPP has raised on both sides have shined a spotlight on the state of the American coal industry and what has shaped its steep decline over the last decade.

Is Water the Best Coal Dust Suppressant?

West Gary

Not Really.

Water-only dust control systems have been used widely throughout the coal industry as a low-cost coal dust suppressant. At first glance, water seems like the natural solution to coal dust because it is safe and cheap. However, upon closer inspection, water is neither safe nor cheap. Water-only coal dust suppression systems use high volumes of water to wet coal fines and temporarily adhere them to larger coal pieces in order to prevent the fines from becoming airborne. This massive addition of water robs coal of its BTUs (heating value), causes plugging in chutes and hoppers, and creates a slippery environment. Water also offers no residual dust suppression performance. The weak bonds created by the moisture addition disappear upon drying, making the fines vulnerable to becoming airborne once again. Water-only coal dust suppression systems look attractive on paper because of their relatively low price tag and their ease of installation. However, over half of the water-only systems installed in the last 10 years are currently inoperable due to lack of maintenance or due to lack of performance.

Dust Control Points of Attack: Coal-Fired Power

Chris Raymond

From the coal mine to the coal yard to the coal fired power plant, the process coal goes through to be transformed from a black piece of rock to the energy that fuels our day-to-day lives is a dusty one.  As the people responsible for the safety of our employees, the efficiency of our plants, and the compliance with so many important regulations, it’s our duty to be on top of the dust and prevent issues before they occur whenever possible.

4 Reasons Foam Dust Control is Better For Coal Handling

Chris Raymond
Imagine what it is like to hike on a trail in the mountains during an early summer morning. The trail bends and winds alongside the mossy creek bed and you pause along the edge to breathe the fresh air and take in the beauty around you. The cool mountain air rushes into your lungs, and you feel refreshed and invigorated. There’s just something soothing about a breath of fresh air.