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Turning Mine Water into a Useful Resource - GE’s advanced technology is key to innovative project at CONSOL energy coal mine (NYSE: GE)
Turning Mine Water into a Useful Resource


NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Oakwood, VA, United States, 2010/03/04 - GE’s advanced technology is key to innovative project at CONSOL energy coal mine (NYSE: GE). NYSE: GE

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A new water treatment system, the first to be used in a North American coal mine, is being implemented by CONSOL Energy Inc. in one of the nation’s largest coal mines. The Buchanan No. 1 coal mine in Oakwood, Va., will receive GE’s advanced filtration membranes and thermal water treatment technology to treat the mine water, enabling about 99 percent of the water to be reused in part at the company’s preparation plant facility.

When in operation, the new system will significantly reduce the volume of mine water that must be managed. Further, it will reduce freshwater demand, as the processed water coming out of the system can be used at the mine’s preparation plant facility, reducing the need to obtain water from other sources. The salt that naturally occurs in the mine water will be removed through the filtration process.

The Buchanan mine is one of the nation’s largest underground coal mines, larger in area than some small cities. In 2009, the CONSOL Energy mine produced 2.84 million clean tons of coal and 71.45 billion cubic feet of associated coal bed methane gas from its Virginia operations.

“Our goal is not only to help customers solve specific treatment problems, but to help them recognize and take advantage of opportunities to recover additional value,” said Steve Watzeck, president of engineered systems — water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. “GE offers extensive know-how gained from decades of global project experience, combined with innovative products and cutting-edge research. The result is a unique solution that hits the mark operationally, environmentally and economically.”

Part of an overall infrastructure upgrade expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2010, GE’s zero liquid discharge (ZLD) system is capable of treating up to 1,600 gallons of water per minute utilizing a combination of ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, brine evaporation and salt crystallization technologies. In the process, dissolved minerals in the mine water, largely salt, will be left behind in a crystalline form. Mine operations will not be impacted during system installation. GE has teamed with building contractor Bowen Engineering Corporation on the project.

The system GE is providing to CONSOL Energy incorporates GE’s ZeeWeed* ultrafiltration technology, which employs hollow-fiber membranes to separate particles from water, and GE’s reverse osmosis separation technology, which removes dissolved impurities from water through the use of a semi-permeable membrane. The concentrated brine from these elements of the system is then treated by GE’s proprietary thermal evaporation, crystallization and drying ZLD technologies, which make up the heart of this integrated process.

CONSOL Energy, Inc. (, a high-Btu bituminous coal and natural gas company, is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 Equity Index and the Fortune 500. At year-end 2009, it had 11 bituminous coal mining complexes in six states and reports proven and probable coal reserves of 4.5 billion tons. It also is a majority owner of CNX Gas Corporation, a leading Appalachian gas producer, with proved reserves of more than 1.9 trillion cubic feet.

* Trademark of General Electric Company; may be registered in one or more countries.

About GE
GE ( is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that's built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water, transportation and health to access to money and information, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide.

GE serves the energy sector by developing and deploying technology that helps make efficient use of natural resources. With 60,000 global employees and 2009 revenues of $37 billion, GE Energy ( is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas—work together to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels.

For more information, visit the company’s Website. GE is imagination at work.

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Turning Mine Water into a Useful Resource

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Publisher Contact: Kristin Schwarz - GE Energy 
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