New Approaches to Coal Haulage Roads and Travel Ways

By Ed Stock and Eric Wetzel, P.E.

Rosebud Mining Co. operates eight prep plants and 36 surface and underground mines in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Within these facilities are miles of underground and surface haulage roads and travel ways. The majority of Rosebud’s haulage roads and travel ways fall into the following categories:

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Custom-Engineered Vibrator Design

Martin Engineering is now offering custom-engineered vibration technology for manufacturers of shakers, separators, wash plants and other process equipment that uses vibration as a working force.  By adding the new capability, the company hopes to open up a wide range of new possibilities for equipment designers who have traditionally been forced to engineer products around existing vibrator models.  The design and engineering will be performed at Martin Engineering’s new Center for Innovation, Research & Development (CFI) in Neponset, Ill.

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Innovative Design of Fine Coal Cleaning Circuits for Improved Sulfur Rejection

Modern processing plants incorporate a complex array of solid-solid and solid-liquid separation processes that remove unwanted impurities from run-of-mine coals. The most popular processes used for coal cleaning include dense medium separation, gravity concentration and froth flotation. Unfortunately, the processes traditionally used to upgrade the finest fractions of coal are generally inferior in terms of separation performance. In particular, these circuits often perform very poorly in reducing sulfur levels in the fine coal products.

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Using Dust Management to Improve Safety and Reduce Maintenance on Conveyors

Orlando Utilities Commission-Stanton Energy Center (SEC) is one of Central Florida’s leading environmental stewards, meeting or exceeding all air permit limits with advanced pollution control equipment while generating electricity to serve more than 342,000 residents.

The company follows a similar philosophy with respect to its working environment, cleaning the entire coal yard and all handling equipment every day. “Typically each day after we finish filling or bunkering the silos, the whole system is cleaned,” said Stuart Cason, material handling supervisor, SEC. “That includes the yard, all the conveyors, chutes, floors, impact zones and rollers.  In some places, it’s a wet wash-down, while in others we sweep. It’s seven days a week, every week of the year.”

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Addressing Safety with Automation

The average American uses approximately 3.4 tons of coal and nearly 40,000 lb of newly mined materials each year, according to the National Mining Association. Industry leaders generally agree that the demand for raw materials, such as coal, will continue to increase worldwide as developing countries industrialize and populations grow. To satisfy current and future demand for coal and other minerals, mining companies have to search for new, innovative ways to attain this valuable source of energy. This often means exploring and operating in difficult terrain in more remote locations. Inevitably, this shift means new challenges for safety and efficiency.

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