Producing Clean Coal from Western Canadian Coalfields Using the Water-based 'Roben Jig' Process
Project code: 2016-067
Project type: Minerals and Mining
Proponent: Technical Members of Canadian Carbonization Research Association (CCRA): Melanie Mackay of Trillium Geoscience Ltd., Ross Leader, Consultant, Daryl Thomas of CWA Engineers Inc., Maria Holuszko of University of British Columbia, Louis Giroux of NRCan/CanmetENERGY and Heather Dexter of GWIL-Birtley Coal & Minerals Testing
Project location: British Columbia
Can water-based processes be used as an alternative to organic chemicals such as perchloroethylene (PCE) to wash and analyse metallurgical coal to determine its economic value?
Coal is BC's largest export commodity. Provincial 2016 forecasts put a value of $3.32 billion on BC coal production. Most of this is metallurgical coal, essential for steel-making. Accessed here
Coal samples from mines in BC are analysed using a washing process to understand the coal's coking characteristics. This ultimately determines its market value.
Traditionally, this process has included the use of organic chemicals (white spirit, PCE and methylene bromide) and associated safety concerns. For example, PCE is a known carcinogen.
An alternative and effective waster-based washing method that can be used at a commercial scale would remove the need to use organic chemicals in the process, along with associated health and environmental risks.
To determine if the water-based 'Roben Jig' process can be commercially used to wash a broad range of coal types found in British Columbia coking coal basins to an equivalent or superior standard to traditional methods.
If the Roben Jig process provides equivalent or superior results to traditional coal washing methods, it has the potential to benefit the BC and global coal industries by eliminating the need to use potentially harmful organic liquids in coal and coke quality analysis.
Samples taken from South East British Columbia Coal Field and North East British Columbia Coal Field.