Recent developments in beneficiation of fine and ultra-fine coal -review paper

M. Ramudzwagi, N. Tshiongo-Makgwe, W. Nheta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Generation of fines and ultra-fines is a concept that mining and metallurgical sectors can never shy away since the beginning of coal exploration. These coal fines and ultra-fines are what coal mines regarded as waste material without economic value until the present moment. Poor technologies in the past led to stockpiling of large quantities of fines and ultra-fines. Increase in mechanization in the coal mining industry has also led to the generation of large quantities of coal fines and ultra-fines. Several techniques in the mineral processing sector have been explored to beneficiate the coal fines and ultra-fines. The explored beneficiating technologies include enhanced gravity separation, oil agglomeration, flotation, flocculation, spirals, water only cyclone and dense medium cyclone. These beneficiating technologies have their own limitations when treating fine and ultrafine coal. Major limitations were operation cost and separation efficiency. However, many researchers have improved these beneficiation technologies in terms of cost and separation efficiencies producing clean coal product that meet the end user product specifications. This paper reviews recent developments in beneficiation technologies of coal fines and coal ultra-fines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122693
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2020


  • Coal beneficiation
  • Coal fines
  • Coal flotation
  • Gravity concentration
  • Ultra-fine coal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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