M.S. Seehra, A. Manivannan and M.E. Bachlechner
(304) 293-3422 ext. 1429
A two-year innovative research program on the combined experimental-modeling studies of coal-water interactions and coal dewatering is proposed. The experimental program will first focus on determining the relative amounts of "free" and "bound" water in wet coals using analytical techniques of thermogravimetric analysis, heat capacity measurements and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance. Laboratory scale dewatering experiments will then be carried out by vacuum filtration and centrifugation, combined with pulsed heating at microwave or IR (3300 cm-l) frequencies to liberate the "bound" water. These investigations will be complimented with modeling studies of the coal-water interactions and the effect of centrifugation on dewatering from surface-bound water and coal pores. This integrated experimental-modeling approach is an important component of the proposed research since the results from the molecular-dynamics simulations could provide unique technological insights that will increase the efficiency of dewatering processes. Finally, scale-up of the resulting successful approaches for coal dewatering will be proposed at the conclusion of the two-year program.