Many power producers have been designing for, or switching to waste coal. A major consideration when dealing with waste coal is the design of the fuel handling system. Since waste coal is typically finer and more cohesive and therefore harder to handle in silos, bunkers, chutes and feeders, design of the handling system for reliable, non-stagnant flow is essential. This paper describes a systematic approach to designing and retrofitting handling systems to avoid bulk solids flow problems. Potential trouble areas such as coal hoppers, silos, bunkers, and transfer chutes are discussed. Mass flow and funnel flow patterns that develop in silos and bunkers are presented. Funnel flow results in large stagnant regions, which are a major problem for coals that combust easily and are prone to problems such as arching and ratholing. Mass flow patterns, which eliminate the stagnant coal regions, are also explained. Coal properties and bunker designs that result in mass flow and funnel flow are described. Transfer chute design techniques to avoid pluggages, reduce dusting, and minimize chute wear are discussed. The Panther Creek Energy facility in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania is used as an example where solids flow handling methodologies were used to solve handling problems with anthracite culm. The modifications presented were required for reliable, stagnant-free coal flow, which prevented belt slippage and high belt loading on gravimetric feeders.

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