CDM Systems, Inc. > Resources > Blog > From Waste to Resource: The Importance of Custom Conveyors for Waste Coal Handling in Power Generation

From Waste to Resource: The Importance of Custom Conveyors for Waste Coal Handling in Power Generation

The Appalachian coal regions contain massive stockpiles of coal refuse, spread across thousands of acres of land in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. There are hundreds of millions of tons of waste coal, leftover when old coal mines closed, that is used for fuel at power generation facilities.

With many of these coal-burning power plants still active, coal remains an important commodity.

Operations in the region receive tax credits for generating electricity by first reprocessing the coal refuse as fluidized bed combustion in the power plants, and then using the ash it produces to help reclaim the affected mining sites. This cycle provides significant economic benefits for businesses and residents.

To keep power plants generating the needed electricity to their customers, facilities look to improve production and increase their material handling capacities of the bulk coal refuse.

Once the coal is hauled from the leftover piles to the facility, it must be transferred and safely processed. This is where the key component of the operation comes in: purpose-built, heavy-duty conveyors.

The Right Material Handling Equipment Is Critical for Coal-Burning Facilities

The more coal a power plant can use for fuel, the more energy output for electricity is generated – and that means more ash can be utilized for environmental reclamation.

With an additional push to remove and utilize the waste coal supply, it is incumbent on operations to increase fuel capacity. But because most power generation facilities run 24/7, downtime from failed equipment will instantly halt production and bleed revenue.

This is why custom-built conveyors, designed to reliably transfer coal refuse in bulk, are the critical investment needed to ensure efficient productivity, reduce expenses, and boost revenue.

Power generation facilities will benefit from custom drag chain conveyors and belt conveyors due to their durability and multidirectional conveying capabilities. Each system is engineered to transfer heavy material with high-volume output, and because they are built to match the facility layout and exact material, the threat of downtime from equipment failure is minimized.

To ensure this, CDM applies the following principles with every equipment buildout:

  1. Apply material and environmental data before construction.
  2. Match internal components with the application and material being handled.
  3. Engineer the system for durability and to resist fatigue, corrosion and wear.

Downtime from failed conveyors is a major deterrent to production and revenue gains at coal burning power plants. By investing in conveyors designed specifically for coal and ash handling, operators can increase energy output, keep their customers powered and avoid revenue loss.

CDM Drag Chain Conveyors

  • Designed and built for the facility
  • Most effective for moving raw bulk material
  • Dust- and weather-proof housing
  • Fully enclosed system
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Energy and space efficient

CDM Belt Conveyors

  • Engineered with your required specs
  • Designed for multidirectional conveying
  • Conventional troughed systems with idler rollers
  • Open or closed configurations
  • Rugged, reliable components
  • High volume capacities

Learn more about the CDM manufacturing process here.
Visit this page for CDM’s conveying systems brochure, including tech specs and material and design information.

About CDM

The CDM story is about understanding that every industrial operation is different — as are their conveying challenges. A custom-engineered conveying system is a cost-effective approach to any operation willing to have a partner who is vested in your success and one who stands by their product.

CDM has earned more than 91 percent repeat business because we’re more than just a conveying systems manufacturer — we’re a business partner.

For additional information contact:

Andrew Parker, President CDM Systems, Inc.  •