Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mining Engineering (MSMIE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mining Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Rick Q. Honaker


The production of high quality silicon requires the use of ultraclean coal containing less than 1.5% ash. The magnetite used to clean the coal in a dense medium process is a contaminant that seriously impacts the quality of the final silicon product. As such, research has been conducted to evaluate the potential to substitute the magnetite with fine silica–based alternative material generated during the silicon production process. Dense medium cyclone tests were performed based on a statistically designed program to determine the optimum conditions that maximize organic efficiency and minimize probable error and low–density bypass. The results revealed that a clean coal product with less than 1.5% ash can be produced using a medium formed from the silicon production waste with an organic efficiency value of around 99% and a probable error value below 0.02. There was no measurable bypass of high density particles into the product stream or low–density particles into the reject stream.