Coal Age

APR 2019

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April 2019 www.coalage.com 27 sampling systems continued "With older versions of the COALS- CAN 2100, you can upgrade them with current technology, with remote access and all those capabilities that didn't exist when those units were initially sold in the 1980s and 1990s," Kurth said. "Something we've man- aged to do pretty successfully is up- grade these product specifications continuously, and we can retrofit al- most anything to the initial products we sold in the previous decades." COALSCAN was released in the ear- ly 1980s. Early iterations of the technol- ogy were developed by Mineral Control Instrumentation, forerunner of ScanT- ech. "COALSCAN was the brand name that we used from day one," Kurth said. "It has become an industry standard." Currently, the brand covers a range of offerings from the more ba- sic, measuring mostly for ash con- tent, to the more sophisticated 9500X model, similar to the company's GEOSCAN, which provides measure- ments of individual elements. The ash analyzer technology lever- ages dual energy transmission. "They use an Americium and a Cesium source that has different gamma energy levels," Kurth said. "Those sources go through the conveyed flow continuously." "If you have ash, which is rock material in the coal, then the con- veyed material is going to be dens- er," Kurth said. "That means you get a delay in the transmission of one of the gamma energies compared to the other, which shows a change in densi- ty that you can correlate with the ash content in the coal." The system can be calibrated based on coal type. "PRB coals, for example, are going to have a particular density profile as the ash content changes," Kurth said. "And we calibrate the ana- lyzer to each of the coals in the differ- ent regions around the world." Some ash components can affect the suitability of the technology to measure total ash content. "If your coal has really high variations in calci- um, iron and barium, then we look at other technologies for being suitable for measuring the ash," Kurth said. One such technology is an elemen- tal system, the basis for the COALSCAN 9500X, first developed in the 1990s. Scantech's elemental scanners are based on prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA). "They measure continuously all the way through the full bed depth across the full cross-section of the flow and it gives you a very representative analy- sis, which is why you can get ash con- tent to a better accuracy than just an ash analyzer," Kurth said. "Measuring the full flow is pre- ferred to measuring a simple stream, as sampling error is much higher than most sites think," he said. "Ultimately, we customize performance for each customer depending on their needs." The most accurate moisture mea- surements come from microwave system systems, Kurth said. One such microwave system solu- tion from Scantech, the TBM Series, also dates back to the 1990s. "It is through-the-belt scanning technolo- gy and it measures the free moisture using the microwave transmission signal," Kurth said. "It measures the attenuation and the phase shift of the microwave field as it passes through the system." The belt scales report the tonnage per hour. "The measurement of the moisture tells us how much moisture there is so we can relate that back to the total tonnage to give us a percent moisture," Kurth said. "That will give you second-by-second moisture con- tent and the dry tonnage." All Scantech offerings can be cali- brated, even if the mine doesn't have a lab on site, and upgraded when need- ed. "All of the systems have remote ac- cess capabilities," Kurth said. "And 99% of the troubleshooting we need to do actually ends up being a communica- tions issue between the analyzer and the plant, which is due to someone inadvertently pulling the plug, turning something off, or cutting a cable." Scantech customers with existing hardware should consider the up- grades available, he said. "There is plenty of opportunity to utilize our 39 years experiences as a company with online analysis in multiple industries and many of our long-term employ- ees are very knowledgeable on these products," Kurth said. "That is why we have had such success in develop- ing them for new applications in dif- ferent industries." Made in the USA SABIA Inc. reported the X1-LiNX, a cross-belt analyzer that attaches to conveyor siderails or stringers, is dif- ferent from predecessor technologies in how easy it is to install and maintain. X1 refers to the scanning technol- ogy, which is based on PGNAA. "In the bottom, underneath the belt, we install a neutron source, Californium 252," Paul Iverson, director of opera- tions, SABIA Inc., said. "SABIA typical- ly only installs 20 to 40 micrograms, less than many other suppliers." The relatively small amount allows for a more modular analyzer that re- quires less shielding to be safe. "That allows us to mount it directly on to the conveyor siderails," Iverson said. The coal moves along the convey- or and through the analyzer. The CF SABIA's developments in algorithms and nucleonics allow a much better signal to noise ratio, the company reports. Above, the X1 LiNX on an enclosed conveyor. (Photo: SABIA)

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