In The News

Coal is making a comeback. Supplies are so scarce that Pa.’s and N.J.’s electric grid operator is worried.

Coal enjoys a renaissance in the super-heated post-lockdown economy. Will it last? 'In the long run, the writing is on the wall for coal plants.'

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U.S. Coal Miners Are ‘Sold Out’ for 2022

(Bloomberg) -- Almost every lump of coal that U.S. miners will dig out of the ground next year has already been sold, as surging natural gas prices prompt utilities to burn more of the dirtiest fossil fuel.

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Coal Ranks

There are 4 major types (or "ranks") of coal. Rank refers to steps in a slow, natural process called "coalification," during which buried plant matter changes into an even denser, drier, more carbon rich, and harder material. The four ranks are:

  • Anthracite: The highest rank of coal. It is hard, brittle, and black lustrous coal referred to as hard coal, containing a high percentage of fixed carbon and a low percentage of volatile matter.

  • Bituminous: Bituminous coal is a middle rank coal between subbituminous and anthracite. Bituminous usually has a high heating (Btu) value and is the most common type of coal used in electricity generation used in the United States. Bituminous coal appears shiny and smoooth when you first see it, but look closer and you may see that it has layers.

  • Subbituminous: Subbituminous coal is black in color and dull (not shiny), and has a higher healing value than lignite.

  • Lignite: Lignite coal, aka brown coal, is the lowest grade coal with the least concentration of carbon.

Kingdom Logistics supplying the industrial coal sectors:

Since 2016 Kingdom Logistics has proven to be a leader in Eastern Kentucky in supplying industrial coal.

  • Steam Coal:: Steam coal, also known as thermal coal, is suitable for electric power production. Steam coal is ground into a fine powder that burns quickly at high heats and is used in power plants to heat water in boilers that run steam turbines. It also may be used to provide space heating for homes and businesses.

  • Metallurgical Coal: Metallurgical coal or coking coal is a grade of coal that can be used to produce good-quality coke. Coke is an essential fuel and reactant in the blast furnace process for primary steelmaking. The demand for metallurgical coal is highly coupled to the demand for steel.

  • Industrial Coal: The coal industry has two principal markets, namely thermal coal (for energy use, including power generation and other applications

Coal Impoundments

Kingdom Logistics owns and operates coal waste impoundments that are constructed for the permanent disposal of waste coal, rock, and related material as a by-product of coal mining.

Impoundments are constructed by building a retaining embankment with coarse coal waste across a valley to create a fine coal waste collection basin.

To transform the coal ash into a slurry, coal is separated from non-combustable components and can be fractionated by particle size as well. Coal slurry can be transferred by pipeline or with specialized pumps such as a progressive cavity pump to pump the highly abrasive, corrosive and viscous coal slurry. More than 7 billion tons of coal are mined per year (2010), using approximately 200 litres of water per ton. However, the amount of water required hinges on the surface characteristics of the coal being used.

Most coal slurries require the addition of a surfactant to reduce the viscosity, ergo reduce the stress on pipelines and pumps. Recent studies have employed new methods of slurry preparation, like using ultrasonic irradiation and a mixture of natural and synthetic surfactants to improve the stability and rheological properties of coal slurry.

Logistical Services

Kingdom Logistics has the only 100+ car loadout facility in Eastern Kentucky, servcing CSX & Norfolk Southern. Kingdom Logistics is the only operator in Eatsern Kentucky with the ability to service Northfolk Station.

Coal can be transported from mines and processing plants to consumers in several different ways: Conveyors, trams, and trucks move coal around mines, short distances from mines to consumers close to the mines, or to other modes of long-distance transportation.

Barges transport coal on rivers and lakes.

A hopper car (US) or hopper wagon (UIC) is a type of railroad freight car used to transport loose bulk commodities such as coal, ore, grain, and track ballast. Two main types of hopper car exist: covered hopper cars, which are equipped with a roof, and open hopper cars, which do not have a roof.

This type of car is distinguished from a gondola car in that it has opening doors on the underside or on the sides to discharge its cargo. The development of the hopper car went along with the development of automated handling of such commodities, with automated loading and unloading facilities.

Covered hopper cars are used for bulk cargo such as grain, sugar, and fertilizer that must be protected from exposure to the weather. Open hopper cars are used for commodities such as coal, which can suffer exposure with less detrimental effect. Hopper cars have been used by railways worldwide whenever automated cargo handling has been desired. "Ore jennies" is predominantly a term for shorter open hopper cars hauling taconite by the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway on Minnesota's Iron Range.

Wash Plants

A coal preparation plant (CPP; also known as a coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP), coal handling plant, prep plant, tipple or wash plant) is a facility that washes coal of soil and rock, crushes it into graded sized chunks (sorting), stockpiles grades preparing it for transport to market, and more often than not, also loads coal into rail cars, barges, or ships.

The more of this waste material that can be removed from coal, the lower its total ash content, the greater its market value and the lower its transportation costs.

The washability characteristics of a coal reserve are provided by obtaining liberation data on the raw coal sample. Liberation refers to the amount of physical breakage required to liberate coal from different other material densities. Low density material is clean coal whereas high density material is reject (rock). The intermediate density material is called middlings.

Liberation data is commonly obtained by float and sink analysis. The procedures for this analysis are detailed in Australian Standard AS 4156.1 – 1994 "Coal preparation — Higher rank coal — Float and sink testing".

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