Eskom Coal Pilot Test Facility

Taking place on: 29 August 2014

Eskom is the major power producer in Africa, consuming 125 Mt/pa coal to produce 237 000 GWh of electricity. Eskom Research Testing and Development facility (RT&D) was established to satisfy Eskom research requirements. Research focuses on coal quality, coal quality impact, coal combustion, emissions, generation, environmental impact, transmission and distribution.

To facilitate the coal quality, combustion and emission research, Eskom RT&D utilise the 1MWt Pilot Scale Combustion Test Facility (PSCTF), drop tube furnace (DTF) and QEMSCAN (Quantitative Evaluation of Materials based on SCANning electron Microscope).

IMA delegates are afforded the opportunity to visit Eskom RT&D.


The 1MWt pilot scale combustion test facility has been designed to characterise the milling, combustion and emission characteristics of coal.

For a burn test, approximately 3 tonnes of coal is consumed. The coal is firstly crushed down to 100% passing 1mm, it is then pulverised in a Loesche mill to 70-75% passing 75 microns. The pulverised coal is stored in 5 tonnes silos. The down-fired burner burns the coal. The combustion efficiency, burn-out times, furnace exit temperatures and emissions (CO2, NOx, and SOx) are measured. Approximately 90 coals are combusted in the PSCTF per year.


QEMSCAN is a scanning electron microscope configured to automatically determine the mineralogical composition of coal, fly ash, clinkers and environmental related samples. Eskom is  the first power utility in the world to purchase a QEMSCAN.
Unique challenges include the development of an appropriate sample preparation method, new validation techniques, mineral identification standard, new particle classification method and how best to interpret and apply the mineralogical data. The presentation will cover these aspects.

Drop Tube Furnance

The drop tube furnace is a single tube which is heated at a rate of 10000 °C. A single stream of coal (60 g/hr) is fed through the drop tube furnace. Important kinetic parameters and the combustion characteristics are determined from the drop tube furnace.


09h00 – 10h00    Bus leaves Sandton – transport to Eskom RTD
10h00 – 10h30    Sign in/tea
10h30 – 10h40    Welcome and safety procedure
10h40 – 11h30    Short Presentation outlining what Eskom Research Testing and Development does (RT$D), SA coal mineralogy and tests undertaken.
11h30 – 13h00    Groups visit the QEMSCAN, Drop tube furnace and the 1MWt pilot scale combustion test facility.
13h00 – 14h00    Light lunch
14h00 – 15h00    Travel back to Sandton

Cost:       R 500-00 per person

Cost Includes:

  • Transport
  • Refreshments

Min number of participants:              7
Max number of participants:             40

Terms and Conditions:

1. Participation will be confirmed on receipt of payment.

2. Preference will be given to registered IMA delegates and accompanying persons.

3. All cancellations must be received in writing and sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

4. Cancellations received before 30 June 2014 will receive a full refund, less a 10% administration fee.

5. Cancellations received between 1 July and 15 August 2014 will receive a 50% refund.

6. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after 15 August 2014.

7. All refunds are subject to the approval of and at the discretion of the organising committee.

8. The organising committee reserves the right to change or cancel this tour.