KOREA INSTITUTE OF GEOSCIENCE AND MINERAL RESOURCES
THE WORLD'S LEADING RESEARCH
INSTITUTE OF GEOSCIENCE
THE KAT PROCESS, DRY COAL PREPARATION TECHNOLOGY FOR LOW-GRADE COAL, WAS SUCCESSFULLY DEPLOYED ON A COMMERCIAL SCALE
Low-grade coal is not used widely owing to the limited coal preparation technologies, environmental issues, and the economic feasibility associated with its use. Most coal mines are located in places where water is insufficient or are in remote areas, where dry coal preparation processes are essential. The Mineral Processing Department of KIGAM developed the KAT Process, an eco-friendly efficient dry coal preparation technology which features simple processes and ensures high economic efficiency. The KAT Process realizes in-situ preparation through a simple process to reduce transportation costs while also addressing environmental issues, the greatest challenge associated with conventional wet processes. Because the KAT Process alleviates size limitations during the preparation of coal of which the granularity size is less than 10 mm and improves the quality of the products dramatically, it is ideal for coal mines as the main coal preparation process.
The separation efficiency of conventional air-fluidized layer decks is generally affected by the particle size and size distribution, and outcomes have been quite poor for particles smaller than 20 mm. The KAT Process also employs the air-fluidized layer deck concept, but it is designed to achieve good efficiency even with particles less than 20 mm in size. Several test results have revealed the efficiency and feasibility of processing coal particles as small as 1 mm.
The eco-friendly economic KAT Process has attracted a considerable amount of attention from Korean and overseas coal mine developers. This technology has already been transferred to KAT Co., Ltd. for commercialization, and overseas coal miners connected to global mining companies in Asian countries, including Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and India, are also interested in the KAT Process. This interest demonstrates that this technology is competitive in terms of originality and applicability. KAT Co., Ltd. plans to carry out a demonstration project operation on a commercial scale at coal basins in Korea and Mongolia.
Fig. 1. The photographs of KAT pilot plant and demonstration.