The coal truth

Slurry pumps are a non-negotiable for coal operations and facilities, but processing heavy media creates challenges unlike most other commodities. Schurco Slurry’s Nick Shur outlines why.

When discussing energy production, coal remains a significant player and the most reliable source of energy in the market. Coal-fired power plants account for a large portion of the energy supplied around the world.

Before coal is delivered to power plants, coal preparation plants are tasked with transforming raw coal into a usable and environmentally compliant energy source. Among the unsung heroes in this intricate process are slurry pumps. These specialized pumps play a pivotal role in maintaining the operational efficiency and environmental sustainability of coal processing.

Selecting and maintaining slurry pumps are critical aspects that demand attention. Properly chosen pumps enhance the overall longevity and performance of coal preparation plant operations, preventing unnecessary downtime and ensuring a smooth workflow. At Schurco Slurry, we have designed pumps that are built to withstand the various stages of coal processing.

Schurco Slurry pumps are commonly used in coal preparation plants for handling abrasive slurries involved in various stages of coal processing, and play a critical role in ensuring the efficient transportation of coal slurry throughout the plant.

One of the key advantages of pumps in coal preparation plants is their ability to
handle highly abrasive slurries.

Here’s how Schurco Slurry pumps are typically utilized in coal preparation plants:

Installed to transport coal slurry from one process stage to another within the coal preparation plant. This includes pumping coal slurry from the primary crushing and screening stages to subsequent processing units like flotation cells, dense medium separators, or thickeners.

Processing heavy media coal can create numerous issues for coal preparation plants. The particle size and abrasive nature of the coal can cause slurry pumps to clog and wear out prematurely. Schurco has developed several pump models to not only handle large particles but also the severe abrasive environment.

Dewatering coal slurry often contains a significant amount of water, which needs to be removed before the coal can be further processed or transported. Schurco Slurry pumps are utilized in dewatering processes, such as in centrifuges or belt presses, to remove excess water from the coal slurry.

Another popular dewatering process is the use of filter press technology. The company’s unique high-pressure pumps are designed to handle both the pressure and heavy abrasion in this application and will outperform any competitors offering.

In coal preparation plants, tailings or coal refuse are often disposed of in tailings ponds or impoundments, many of which have to transport long distances, which means the tailings pump operates in series. Schurco Slurry pumps are used to transport these tailings from processing units to the designated disposal areas.

One of the key advantages of Schurco Slurry pumps in coal preparation plants is their ability to handle highly abrasive slurries. Coal slurries can contain abrasive particles that can cause wear and tear on equipment. The company’s pumps are specifically designed with various robust materials and wear-resistant components to withstand the abrasive nature of coal slurries, thereby minimizing maintenance and downtime.

Schurco Slurry pumps can be customized to meet specific requirements of plants, including selecting the appropriate pump size, configuration and materials of construction based on factors such as flow rate, head, particle size distribution and operating conditions. Optimization of pump selection and operation can help improve overall efficiency and reduce operating costs.

As Schur noted, Schurco Slurry pumps are known for their reliability and durability in demanding applications like coal preparation plants. However, regular maintenance and monitoring are still essential to ensure optimal performance and prolong the service life of the pumps. This may include routine inspections, lubrication, and replacement of wear parts as needed. The company offers numerous customized options such as pump and bearing assembly exchange programs, evaluating existing pump hydraulics, and onsite training.

In conclusion, the unsung heroes of coal preparation plants, slurry pumps, deserve recognition for their integral role in shaping the landscape of energy production. As technology advances, it is crucial to continue investing in and refining these essential components to ensure that coal processing remains efficient, environmentally responsible, and aligned with the broader goals of a cleaner and greener energy future.

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