CoalPlus technology retards the oxidation and weathering of low rank coals, which in turn reduces hot spots, smokers and spontaneous combustion. In addition, less weathering reduces Btu losses during outside storage at coal yards and terminals.

One of the key challenges associated with exporting PRB coal is controlling the temperature of the coal stockpiled at export terminals. Over the past 18 months, Cloud Peak Energy has worked with GE and a terminal operator to develop a product that reduces the tendency for coal to develop localized hot spots. As a result of this co-operation, a GE product is now successfully used to treat all coal destined for Cloud Peak Energy’s export markets.

Antioxidants and dust control products in GE’s CoalPlus treatment program are not coating agents but are especially designed synthetic materials that inhibit the oxidation reaction. As opposed to traditional crusting and coating agents, the dosage rates of CoalPlus treatments on a per ton basis tend to be 40 to 100 times less than the traditional alternatives, leading to significant savings in applied chemicals, transportation and logistics costs and ultimately a lower environmental impact during the transportation and handling phase of the coal utilization cycle.