Study of Victorian Brown Coal Dewatering by Super Absorbent Polymers using Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

Sheila Devasahayam*, Sri Bandyopadhyay, David J. T. Hill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A simple and useful method to monitor the water content of coal samples using Attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy is presented. ATR-FTIR analyses of oven-dried and polymer-dried brown coal samples are discussed. The difference spectra indicate that the drying of as-received coal at room temperature using a Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) removes only 44% of moisture compared to oven drying at 105 °C. As the SAP does not completely remove the water from the coal the possibility of explosion due to oxidation of the coal powder is greatly reduced. SAP drying is energy and emission efficient compared to oven drying method. At the pH < 5 studied SAP dewatering is dominated by physical processes. The movements in H-bonding observed in ATR-FTIR suggest a physico-chemical process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-226
Number of pages7
JournalMineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • brown coal
  • oven drying
  • Super Absorbent Polymers

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