Capillary Wetting Response of Coal After Exposure to Ambient Air Atmosphere
Description:The U.S. Bureau of Mines examined the wettability of bituminous and subbituminous coals before and after exposure to ambient air atmosphere, as part of an ongoing project investigating the coal-wetting abilities of surfactant solutions intended for the suppression of dust during coal mining operations. Exposure periods were generally 7 days or less, and the changes in wetting response were measured with a capillary penetration apparatus. Wetting solutions tested included a nonionic surfactant, two anionic surfactants, and pure distilled water. After exposure, higher ranked bituminous coals treated with nonionic surfactant solution and pure water showed increased wettability, but lower ranked subbituminous coals showed decreased wettability. With the anionic surfactants, the coals demonstrated opposite responses. The wettability changes appeared to be related to the coal moisture content. These changes may be amplified by specific, but incompletely understood, interactions between surfactant polar groups, absorbed water, and the coal surface.
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