Even with the transition to green energy production in full force, coal still fuels a large percentage of the worlds electricity.
The main types of coal: lignite (brown-coal), steamcoal and anthracite. In most cases it is mined hundreds of miles away from the power plant and transported by ship or rail cargo.
During transport mass loss can be up to 5% based on wind speeds of just 15M/s. When we add the unloading and further movement on various conveyor belts or multiple transfer points this can easily increase even more.
Many plants keep a strategic buffer onsite to ensure continuity of production. These plants and stockpiles are vulnerable to wind creating airborne dust to be carried for miles.
Next to mass loss most plants are confronted with mandatory unloading downtime in certain wind conditions and unfortunately nothing is as unpredictable as the weather.
Water and coal isn’t a good combination, from economical point of view burning coal with low moisture levels is necessary. This is an important factor and is analysed frequently. Using a stockpile sealer significantly reduces the amount of water a stockpile absorbs, ultimately resulting in higher efficiency in the furnace.