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Chemical functionalities of high and low sulfur Australian coals : a case study using micro attenuated total reflectance–fourier transform infrared (ATR–FTIR) spectrometry

Li, Zhongsheng, Fredericks, Peter M., Ward, Colin R., & Rintoul, Llewellyn (2010) Chemical functionalities of high and low sulfur Australian coals : a case study using micro attenuated total reflectance–fourier transform infrared (ATR–FTIR) spectrometry. Organic Geochemistry, 41(6), 554-558 .

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Abstract

The macerals in bituminous coals with varying organic sulfur content from the Early Permian Greta Coal Measures at three locations (Southland Colliery, Drayton Colliery and the Cranky Corner Basin), in and around the Sydney Basin (Australia), have been studied using light-element electron microprobe (EMP) analysis and micro-ATR–FTIR. Electron microprobe analysis of individual macerals reveals that the vitrinite in both the Cranky Corner Basin and Drayton Colliery (Puxtrees seam) samples have similar carbon contents (ca. 78% C in telocollinite), suggesting that they are of equivalent rank. However, the Cranky Corner coals have anomalously low vitrinite reflectance (down to 0.45%) vs. the Drayton materials (ca. 0.7%). They also have very high organic S content (3–6.5%) and lower O content (ca. 10%) than the equivalent macerals in the Drayton sample (0.7% S and 15.6% O). A study was carried out to investigate the impacts of the high organic S on the functional groups of the macerals in these two otherwise iso-rank, stratigraphically-equivalent seams. An iso-rank low-S coal from the overlying Wittingham Coal Measures near Muswellbrook and coals of slightly higher rank from the Greta Coal Measures at Southland Colliery near Cessnock were also evaluated using the same techniques to extend the data set. Although the telocollinite in the Drayton and Cranky Corner coals have very similar carbon content (ca.78% C), the ATR–FTIR spectra of the vitrinite and inertinite macerals in these respectively low S and high S coals show some distinct differences in IR absorbance from various aliphatic and aromatic functional groups. The differences in absorbance of the aliphatic stretching bands (2800–3000 cm−1) and the aromatic carbon (CC) peak at 1606 cm−1 are very obvious. Compared to that of the Drayton sample (0.7% S and 15% O), the telocollinite of the Cranky Corner coal (6% S and 10% O) clearly shows: (i) less absorbance from OH groups, represented by a broad region around 3553 cm−1, (ii) much stronger aliphatic C–H absorbance (stretching modes around 3000–2800 cm−1 and bending modes around 1442 cm−1) and (iii) less absorbance from aromatic carbon functional groups (peaking at 1606 cm−1). Evaluation of the iso-rank Drayton and Cranky Corner coals shows that: (i) the aliphatic C–H absorbances decrease with increasing oxygen content but increase with increasing organic S content and (ii) the aromatic H to aliphatic H ratio (Har/Hali) for the telocollinite increases with (organic) O%, but decreases progressively with increasing organic S. The high organic S content in the maceral appears to be accompanied by a greater proportion of aliphatic functional groups, possibly as a result of some of the O within maceral ring structures in the high S coal samples being replaced.

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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 33196
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: macerals, bituminous coals, organic sulfur
DOI: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2010.02.016
ISSN: 0146-6380
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (030500)
Divisions: Past > Schools > Chemistry
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd
Deposited On: 13 Aug 2010 10:36
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:23

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