Brown coal dewatering using poly (Acrylamide-co-potassium acrylic) based super absorbent polymers

Sheila Devasahayam*, M. Anas Ameen, T. Vincent Verheyen, Sri Bandyopadhyay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


With the rising cost of energy and fuel oils, clean coal technologies will continue to play an important role during the transition to a clean energy future. Victorian brown coals have high oxygen and moisture contents and hence low calorific value. This paper presents an alternative non evaporative drying technology for high moisture brown coals based on osmotic dewatering. This involves contacting and mixing brown coal with anionic super absorbent polymers (SAP) which are highly crossed linked synthetic co-polymers based on a cross-linked copolymer of acryl amide and potassium acrylate. The paper focuses on evaluating the water absorption potential of SAP in contact with 61% moisture Loy Yang brown coal, under varying SAP dosages for different contact times and conditions. The amount of water present in Loy Yang coal was reduced by approximately 57% during four hours of SAP contact. The extent of SAP brown coal drying is directly proportional to the SAP/coal weight ratio. It is observed that moisture content of fine brown coal can readily be reduced from about 59% to 38% in four hours at a 20% SAP/coal ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-636
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Brown coal
  • Dewatering mechanism
  • FTIR
  • Osmotic dewatering
  • Super absorbent polymers


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