Keys to Proper Coal Handling

Keys to Proper Coal Handling

In Coal-Utility, Dust Control, Environment by Lynn Cielec

When it comes to coal handling, effective dust control is essential.

In order to turn a profit while transporting countless tons of coal, operators must keep their loss of product to a minimum, thereby lowering expenses and maximizing revenue, while at the same time protecting the safety of their workers and the surrounding environment. This can be a difficult feat, even with many international coal markets enjoying newfound stability.

While profits may ebb and flow, operators should adhere to the following industry best practices when it comes to proper coal handling. Read on to learn how operators can mitigate common coal-handling issues while greatly improving worker safety and environmental friendliness on-site, all at a cost savings.

Coal Pile Safety

The most common method for coal storage is coal piling. This method, which can be used during rail transit or on-site, can be problematic if not properly executed. Coal piles must constantly be defended against the elements: water, oxygen, sun, and wind, which threaten to degrade the quality of coal and may result in costly product loss.

Other factors — such as freezing, leakage, oxidation, exposure to UV rays, and flyaway dust — can all lead to a lower heat content, or BTU, which in turn can result in less efficient burning, a lower yield of viable product, and ultimately, a loss of revenue for the coal operator.

Environmental Concerns

In addition to these threats to the coal supply itself, operators must tackle the challenge of keeping workers safe while remaining compliant with worksite and environmental regulations. While safety levels at U.S. mining operations are at an all-time high, operators nonetheless must abide by stringent standards to avoid Patterns of Violation (POVs) and costly fines.

Maintaining a low environmental impact has become critical to a company’s regulatory and public standing, and many organizations have adopted strategies like flue gas desulfurization, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and other technologies to keep pace with increasingly stringent industry guidelines.

All of these issues — product loss, safety, and ecological impact — revolve around a central challenge that all operations face:

Mitigating Fugitive Dust

If left unmitigated, the emission of PM2.5 and PM10 particulate matter can pose a serious threat to both workers on-site and surrounding communities. We at Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. recognize this risk, and we aim to stamp out fugitive dust at the source with our awarding-winning Soil-Sement® product, the highest-performing coal sealant on the market.

Soil-Sement’s patented nanotechnology formulation binds coal particles at the molecular level, thereby sealing piles against external hazards and stabilizing the pile structure. That’s why Soil-Sement’s applications, from coal pile management to car-topping rail systems, are trusted by operators across the country. When it comes to proper dust control for coal handling operations, Midwest has you covered.

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.