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Fuel preparation is one of the most fundamentally important aspects of boiler operation. A plant must consider fuel's capacity, fineness, drying, velocity and distribution along with an optimized pressure drop to keep fan power at a minimum.
BHI-FW has two coal pulverizer designs common to the power industry: vertical shaft MBF mills and horizontal shaft ball mills. The MBF mill, which has a range of standard capacities from 30K to 250K lbs./hr., is more compact and requires less power to operate than ball mills. Ball mills are bigger and take more space but have the capability to grind more powerfully and are therefore the technology of choice when processing low rank coals with high fixed carbon content and low volatile matter. The BHI-FW ball mill product line has standard capacities from 10K to 210K lbs./hr.
There are close to 500 MBF mills in operation beginning in the 1970s and there are 590 ball mills, since the early 1980s.