The Arq process creates a fuel from coal waste that behaves like oil.

Arq Ltd., an innovator in the recovery and transformation of coal waste into an entirely new source of high-value energy, recently installed eight 18-ft Eriez CavTube flotation columns in its first commercial facility located in Corbin, Kentucky. The Arq process converts fine coal waste into Arq Fuel, a high-value, microfine hydrocarbon with an average particle size of less than 5 microns and less than 1% mineral matter that can be blended into oil products. Arq Fuel behaves like oil without the costs of the oil industry.

Eriez’s CavTube columns, which are especially effective for the recovery of ultra-fine particles, are an integral component of Arq’s micro-separation process. The cavitation tube sparging system — known as CavTubes — features a design based on hydrodynamic cavitation. This novel approach results in nucleation of ultra-fine bubbles on the particle surface, which act to facilitate flotation kinetics by improving subsequent attachment of larger bubbles for separation. As a result, the flotation rate of ultra-fine particles is greatly improved.

“In addition to the benefit of our cavitation tube sparging technology, column flotation cells offer superior metallurgical performance due to the use of both wash water and a deep froth phase,” Eriez Flotation USA Director of Operations Andrew Hobert said. “In the Arq application, these advantages minimize entrainment of ultra-fine mineral matter into the froth product.”

Arq Head of Brand and Communications Tom Tudor said, “Arq is able to transform an environmental liability into a cleaner, more efficient source of low cost energy through the innovative application of world-class technologies from multiple industries.”

Arq recycles and transforms coal and coal waste into an entirely new source of high-value energy. Through a combination of advanced chemistry and a tried-and-tested mechanical process, Arq separates pure hydrocarbon from mineral matter to create a microfine powder, Arq Fuel. It can be blended with oil, and behaves in a similar way, without the costs of the oil industry.