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Influence of an igneous intrusion on the inorganic geochemistry of a bituminous coal from Pitkin County, Colorado

International Journal of Coal Geology

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DOI: 10.1016/S0166-5162(98)00005-6

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Abstract

Although the effects of igneous dikes on the organic matter in coal have been observed at many localities there is virtually no information on the effects of the intrusions of the inorganic constituents in the coal. Such a study may help to elucidate the behavior of trace elements during in situ gasification of coal and may provide insights into the resources potential for coal and coke affected by the intrusion. To determine the effects of an igneous intrusion on the inorganic chemistry of a coal we used a series of 11 samples of coal and natural coke that had been collected at intervals from 3 to 106 cm from a dike that intruded the bituminous Dutch Creek coal in Pitkin, CO. The samples were chemically analyzed for 66 elements. SEM-EDX and X-ray diffraction analysis were performed on selected samples. Volatile elements such as F, Cl, Hg, and Se are not depleted in the samples (coke and coal) nearest the dike that were exposed to the highest temperatures. Their presence in these samples is likely due to secondary enrichment following volatilization of the elements inherent in the coal. Equilibration with ground water may account for the uniform distribution of Na, B, and Cl. High concentrations of Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Sr, and CO2 in the coke region are attributed to the reaction of CO and CO2 generated during the coking of the coal with fluids from the intrusion, resulting in the precipitation of carbonates. Similarly, precipitation of sulfide minerals in the coke zone may account for the relatively high concentrations of Ag, Hg, Cu, Zn, and Fe. Most elements are concentrated at the juncture of the fluidized coke and the thermally metamorphosed coal. Many of the elements enriched in this region (for example, Ga, Ge, Mo, Rb, U, La, Ce, Al, K, and Si) may have been adsorbed on either the clays or the organic matter or on both.Although the effects of igneous dikes on the organic matter in coal have been observed at many localities there is virtually no information on the effects of the intrusions on the inorganic constituents in the coal. Such a study may help to elucidate the behavior of trace elements during in situ gasification of coal and may provide insights into the resource potential of coal and coke affected by the intrusion. To determine the effects of an igneous intrusion on the inorganic chemistry of a coal we used a series of 11 samples of coal and natural coke that had been collected at intervals from 3 to 106 cm from a dike that intruded the bituminous Dutch Creek coal in Pitkin, CO. The samples were chemically analyzed for 66 elements. SEM-EDX and X-ray diffraction analysis were performed on selected samples. Volatile elements such as F, Cl, Hg, and Se are not depleted in the samples (coke and coal) nearest the dike that were exposed to the highest temperatures. Their presence in these samples is likely due to secondary enrichment following volatilization of the elements inherent in the coal. Equilibration with ground water may account for the uniform distribution of Na, B, and Cl. High concentrations of Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Sr, and CO2 in the coke region are attributed to the reaction of CO and CO2 generated during the coking of the coal with fluids from the intrusion, resulting in the precipitation of carbonates. Similarly, precipitation of sulfide minerals in the coke zone may account for the relatively high concentrations of Ag, Hg, Cu, Zn, and Fe. Most elements are concentrated at the juncture of the fluidized coke and the thermally metamorphosed coal. Many of the elements enriched in this region (for example, Ga, Ge, Mo, Rb, U, La, Ce, Al, K, and Si) may have been adsorbed on either the clays or the organic matter or on both.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Influence of an igneous intrusion on the inorganic geochemistry of a bituminous coal from Pitkin County, Colorado
Series title:
International Journal of Coal Geology
DOI:
10.1016/S0166-5162(98)00005-6
Volume
36
Issue:
3-4
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier Sci B.V.
Publisher location:
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
223
Last page:
241
Number of Pages:
19