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Modes of Occurrence of Trace Elements in Coal

AUTHOR: Robert M Davidson
DATE: June 2000

The report discusses the results of an international collaborative programme involving eight laboratories in five countries coordinated by the IEA Clean Coal Science programme. The final reports of the participants were analysed by IEA Coal Research. Four power plant bituminous coals were studied, one each from Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA. Trace element concentrations were determined for the whole coals but the coals were also fractionated using physical separations and sequential solvent extraction. The overview of the data resulting from the collaboration concentrated on 13 elements:   Be, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Cd, Sb, Hg and Pb. The results from the programme are discussed together with comparisons and conclusions to be drawn from the data.

Briefly, the programme produced consistent agreement concerning the modes of occurrence of arsenic, selenium and lead; reasonable agreement on chromium, manganese, copper, zinc, cadmium, and mercury; but little agreement on beryllium, cobalt, nickel, and antimony.

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