Rheology of brown coal-water suspensions

Y. K. Leong, D. E. Creasy, D. V. Boger, Q. D. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Techniques for measuring the fundamental flow properties of as-mined Victorian brown coal suspensions are developed. Flow properties are presented for Morwell, Yallourn and Loy Yang coals as a function of concentration for fixed particle size distribution. Even at the relatively low solids concentration of 20 to 30 percent by weight, the suspensions exhibit complex non-Newtonian characteristics. Generally at high concentration, the suspensions are thixotropic with a shear rate dependent viscosity and exhibit a yield stress. The inherent thixotropy of the coals can be exploited and it is technically but perhaps not economically feasible to transport the as-mined coals in a pipeline. The power requirement to pump the coals in a pipeline is found to be 10 to 30 times that required to pump black coal in the Black Mesa pipeline in the U.S.A. The differences in the rheological properties of the three coals is related to the surface properties of the coal particle - expressed in terms of carboxylate and inorganic cation content, and to differences in the pore volume of the coals. The flow characteristics of one coal can be converted to that of another simply by varying either the carboxylate or ionic content of the suspension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalRheologica Acta
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1987
Externally publishedYes


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