Coalscan coal analysis
instruments for measuring coal quality
Coal is one of Australia's main export earners. Both suppliers and users need to know its composition accurately: suppliers so they can blend coal types to fulfil the terms of their contracts; users so they can maximise burning efficiency and comply with pollution regulations.
Coalscan was developed by the same researchers who were responsible for ore slurry probes. They applied similar techniques, plus some new ones, to the problem of analysing coal on a conveyor belt. Radiation emitters and detectors scan coal continuously as it passes by. Data from the detectors is analysed by computer to provide information on the coal's energy, water and ash content.
The three CSIRO researchers, plus the founder of the company that makes Coalscan, were awarded the 1992 Australia Prize for their valuable work: CSIRO estimates that Coalscan has increased the productivity of Australia?s coal industry by about $50 million per year. The instruments are made in Adelaide and sold to companies that process and use coal around the world.
Who Did It?
Mineral Control Instrumentation Pty Ltd : design, manufacture
CSIRO Division of Mineral & Process Engineering : R&D
Australian Mineral Development Laboratories : R&D
Jim Howarth : scientist, entrepreneur
John Watt : scientist at CSIRO
Brian Sowerby : scientist at CSIRO
Longman Cheshire, Melbourne, 1993, pp 120-123.
Scantech Coalscan technologies
Mineral Control Instrumentation
CSIRO Mineral Processing and Metal Production
Ore slurry probe