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Briquetting with binders

(a) Produces a strong briquette.
(b) Produces a waterproof briquette.
(c) Does not detract from the quality of the coal.
(d) Does not interfere with the use of the coal.
(e) Is environmentally acceptable.
(f) Is economically viable.

The binders enjoying most success in the production of hard coal briquettes have been:

Pitch is highly carcinogenic and has largely been replaced by Bitumen.

Lignosulphonate, although at one time extensively used, is being replaced by Molasses as a result of environmental concern.

Molasses is modified for use as a binder by the addition of either lime or Phosphoric Acid.

Starch, Molasses and Lignosulphonates must be treated at 200 to 300 degrees centigrade to develop the required strength and weather resistance.

All of the binders are expensive and are difficult to justify economically for use in South Africa.

Newly developed resin binders are showing promise. These are cold curing binders, often supplied in two parts, which when mixed together set chemically to form a strong weatherproof briquette. Anthracite briquettes are being made in this manner in the U.K. and sold under the name of Thermac. The cold curing binder is supplied by Du Pont and is a by-product from their nylon plant at Wilton, Middlesborough.

Almost all binders used commercially require that the total moisture of the feed is reduced to in the order of 10% in order to produce an acceptable briquette.

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