Preparing the Coal and Utility Industries for Winter Weather

Preparing the Coal and Utility Industries for Winter Weather

In Coal-Utility, Dust Control, Zero Gravity B-Free® by Lynn Cielec

Rails aren’t the only things that need protecting this winter; these products will allow mining companies to protect their coal plant equipment from the freezing conditions.

With cold weather comes a bundle of challenges for the mining and coal industries.

Although it is bad enough that transportation is affected by winter storms, the problems don’t end there. Once the coal actually arrives at the plant, a number of issues arise, including conveyer belts getting stuck, switches freezing, and chunks of coal bonding to chutes, truck beds, and railcars.

It is no surprise that the most accidents in this sector occur during the winter. Fortunately, the solutions provided by Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. can resolve all of these complications in a timely and economical fashion.

Coal-fired power plants most often receive coal by rail. Upon arrival, the coal is off-loaded and transported via rubberized conveyor belts up through a coal chute and into storage silos. Later, it is crushed and sent to a storage yard. Midwest provides solutions to the complications associated with these processes that can occur during the winter months.

Zero Gravity B-Free®

Though prevention is always better than stopgap remedies, Midwest offers a solution to coal frozen to chutes with the deicing agent, Zero Gravity B-Free. This side-release agent speeds the thawing process by immediately warming and conducting heat.

Zero Gravity B-Free also works as an anti-icing agent by preventing coal and other materials from freezing to chutes, rail car interiors, and other materials, thereby increasing safety and improving operational efficiency.

If used after coal has bonded to the chute surface, this product can help lubricate between expanded coal and the corners or crevices in which it is wedged. The ultimate aim is to prevent expanded coal from building up into one entity in the hopper and resisting shakers.

In addition, this product is non-flammable, ready to use, and incorporates licensed technology from NASA/AMES Research Institute.


Midwest’s Freeze-Free, a freeze-conditioning agent, weakens ice crystals that could otherwise bond the coal to metal surfaces. The agent is made specifically for coal destined to be boiler fuel, and the gases it burns alongside the coal are harmless. As a preventative measure, this product may be sprayed on the coal before it is loaded into hopper cars.

Gravity Plus®

An anti-sticking agent, Gravity Plus is applied directly onto surfaces such as chutes, silos, hoppers, truck beds, bins, and railcars. The formula coats the surfaces with a super-slippery, flexible layer to prevent sticking. It can also handle the wear and tear, abrasion and impact that this equipment undergoes during coal mining and processing.

Don’t Forget Your Belt

Conveyor belts also present a challenge in low temperatures. In such conditions, the rubber can get stiff and eventually come out of alignment or cause other problems in handling coal. Ice Free Conveyor® both prevents and removes ice on belts, idlers, and pulleys. It works in temperatures as low as -70°F, and produces belt cover friction.

Midwest provides several top-quality products for preparing coal plants for the coming season. Whether preventative or not, the Zero Gravity B-Free, Freeze Free, Gravity Plus, and Ice Free Conveyor agents make the movement of coal within the plant smooth and safe, thereby eliminating delay costs. These products promise to make the season stress-free for those working in the energy sector.

Lynn Cielec is the Industrial Business Unit Manager at Midwest Industrial Supply. She is an experienced executive sales director with a proven track record of results and sales growth. Effectively utilizes consultative selling methodologies within a CRM system while incorporating other value based selling tools. Expertise in building and leading high performing sales teams, strategic planning, P & L management, new business development, compensation development, market/trend analysis, new product launches and multi-sales channel distribution.