Pipe Conveyor Puts a Damper on Dust

In Yangquan, northern China’s Shanxi province, Continental is using a closed-trough conveyor belt system to ensure the smooth and environmentally friendly extraction of pit coal. The closed system minimises dust emissions at operator YanKan Coal’s mining site, and is also fireproof and has low rolling resistance, making it energy-efficient. The system, which is one of the longest closed-trough conveyor belt systems in China, covers a distance of 8.1 kilometres.
Be it smartphones, tablets, gasoline and electric drives, buildings, machinery and vehicles, they all have one thing in common, they all need energy and raw materials in order to be produced and operated. For this reason, oil, natural gas and precious metals are mined around the globe.

China, coal serves as a major source for national energy production, making it the most important resource for covering the country’s vast energy requirements. The People’s Republic currently covers about 60 percent of total energy production by mining it. This makes it one of the largest producing countries in the world.

Making coal mining environmentally friendly while at the same time investing in the expansion of renewable energies are important aspects of China’s energy policy. This is where the products from Continental help.

Clean material transport for better air and added safety “For the operators of mining facilities, the fundamental question is which technical solution is the safest, most reliable and cost-effective method of transporting coal and other raw materials from the perspective of climate protection and energy efficiency,” says Stephan Weisgerber from Continental in China.

The operator of the coal mine, YanKan Coal, is therefore relying on Continental closed-trough conveyor belts, also known as pipe conveyors.

Especially with the demand of the Chinese government for climate protection in coal mining, these are increasingly becoming the means of choice.

In general, conveyor belts have emerged as the financially and environmentally more advantageous transport solution within a certain distance compared with alternatives such as truck fleets, since their operation emits less CO2 and there is no need for empty trips. Closed systems like tube conveyors also offer other decisive benefits like
minimising dust emissions.

In addition, the transported material itself is well protected against environmental influences such as wind, snow, sun and rain. “This is done by rolling up the belt,” explains Stephan. The outside edges of the belt overlap throughout the entire duration of transportation like a protective casing for the transported material. Only when taking up and delivering material do the closed-trough belts open up and assume the shape of a conventional conveyor belt.

Meeting climate protection requirements “We decided to use Continental’s closed-trough conveyor belts because they fully meet the relevant
requirements with regard to climate protection, safety and efficiency,” adds BiGui Chen from YanKan Coal. “The closed system from Continental is ideal,
because no dust can escape. The closed-trough conveyor belts in Yangquan are also flame-retardant, adding another layer of safety,” he adds.

In mining, whether above or below ground as well as in industrial applications, large inclines and tight bends with low space requirements and high mass flows must often be overcome. While the angle of incline of troughed belt conveyors is usually 20° or less and curve radii remain very large, a pipe conveyor allows curve radii and tilt angles of up to 30°. The Yangquan closed-trough conveyor belt overcomes elevation differences of up to 172 metres over its 8.1 kilometre stretch from the coal deposit to the transfer station, going through a complex route with over 39 convex, concave and 20 horizontal bends.

Jochen Vennemann
Tel: +49 511 938 18024, www.contitech.co.za