By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief
When people talk about Kentucky’s attributes, they are usually talking about one of four subjects: basketball, horses, bourbon or coal. All manly vices you say? During the week preceding the first Saturday in May, if a person planned it just right, they would be able to observe an NCAA College Basketball Championship trophy, some famous horse farms, and the latest in coal processing equipment and techniques, all in one place: Lexington, Ky.
Yes, Coal Prep, which takes place April 30-May 3, 2012, is a springtime ritual with perks for many in the coal processing business. Despite the cyclic swings of coal markets, the only annual exposition and conference dedicated to coal beneficiation seems to always be bustling with activity. This year is no different. In March, Penton, the trade show’s organizer announced that exhibit space was sold out and that this event would be the largest show to date. The Lexington Center exhibit hall will overflow again with more than 300 exhibitors into expanded space in Rupp Arena. A full list of the companies exhibiting at Coal Prep along with a description of their equipment and services is provided on the following 13 pages.
“The response to Coal Prep this year has been overwhelming,” said Sam Posa, Penton’s sales manager for Coal Prep. “We continue to grow the exhibition to capacity, to the point where we are literally spilling out the doorways with exhibitors.” Along with a record breaking number of exhibitors this year, Posa explained that attendee registration is also pacing in double digit percentages ahead of last year at this time.
The 2012 conference program features three workshops for plant operators, including an all-time favorite “Intro to Coal Preparation” with updated content that will take place on Monday, April 30. The technical program will feature paper presentations covering vital topics for plant operations, including: New Plants; Coal Processing; Plant Operations, Maintenance and Safety; and Waste Treatment & Disposal.
“Our conference program has received high praise from industry leaders and is resulting in increased participation to our workshops and conference tracks,” Posa said. “This is producing increased attendance to the event overall. I have high praise for this industry and the people. We all continue to be extremely proud to be involved and contribute to the coal industry overall.”
Coal Prep 2012 will feature many new initiatives, including a mobile app, “The Prep Plant” bar and concessions, CPSA welcome booth, SME Bookstore, the EHS Safety Pavilion and a Harley-Davidson giveaway.
A Technical Program that Delivers
Coal Prep’s technical program begins with a keynote Tuesday morning (May 1) followed by four 2-hour sessions over the course of three days, which are accompanied by several previously mentioned workshops. American Electric Power’s Kimberly Chilcote will deliver the Keynote address, Electric Utility Fuel Procurement for the Future: What Role Will Coal Play? Chilcote is the manager of coal procurement for AEP, one of the nation’s largest coal-burning utilities. For many prep plant operators, she represents the customer and she will lend an interesting perspective on the future for coal in the face of more stringent environmental regulations.
During the afternoon delegates can catch four presentations on international plant design. Steve Bushart, senior preparation manager, Peabody Energy, and Terry Hilsmeyer, United Minerals Inc., will discuss Peabody’s New Wild Boar Plant. John Trygstad and Anthony Toney, engineers with Norwest Corp. talk about the challenges of executing a large scale project in the remote location of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. Alistair Harriman, principal process engineer, Peabody Energy Australia, and Patrick Brindle, Taggart Global, will present a paper on the Wilpinjong expansion in New South Wales. Finally, Shenhua’s Wenhui Zhang will offer a survey of coal preparation processes. In 2010, Shenhua asserted itself as the world’s largest coal producer.
The Wednesday morning session covers coal processing. Australian experts will open the session with a discussion on ways improve dense medium cyclone installations. Robert Moorhead, FLSmidth Krebs will present Operating and Maintenance Guidelines for Classifying Cyclone Circuits. Researchers from Virginia Tech will talk about recent experiences working with an innovative thermal-mechanical drying process known as Nano Drying Technology. The session will close with a presentation from Guohua Technology on its processing technology, which was covered in the August 2011 edition of Coal Age.
The Wednesday afternoon session offers tips on plant operations, maintenance and safety. Chuck Renner, SGS Minerals Services, will present Coal Sampling Systems Used for Payment. The second presentation in the session describes how hot-dipped galvanized steel can be used to reduce maintenance costs. Researchers from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health will discuss some of their findings related to the noise generated by screening machines. Dennis Blauser with Marietta Silos will offer ideas on how to identity and remedy issues relates to silos. The session will close with a discussion of safety concerns related to tracking problems with conveyor systems.
The theme for Thursday morning’s session is Waste Treatment & Disposal. The session kicks off with a presentation from Alpha Natural Resources discussing the company’s experience using an EIMCO filter press in the fine coal refuse disposal process. Patriot Coal will talk about two new plate-and-frame filter installations. Another group from Alpha Natural Resources will explain how the use of belt filter presses extended the life of an tailings impoundment. The session will conclude researchers for University of Kentucky discussing their findings related to the use of cement and flyash to stabilize fine coal waste.