Two samples of the Herrin (Illinois No. 6) Coal and one sample of the Colchester (Illinois No. 2) Coal from the Illinois Basin were studied to evaluate the spatial distribution of organic sulfur within macerals occurring next to pyrite grains, both in the raw coal and their chars. The chars were produced by pyrolysing the coal at 250-550??C in a nitrogen atmosphere. Representative splits of the coals and their chars were mounted in epoxy and polished for optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). Determinations of organic sulfur concentrations were made at 996 locations within macerals, mostly vitrinite, around 115 grains of pyrite and at 50 locations around 5 pores in chars. The pyrite considered here is restricted to the disseminated type within macerals. On the average, the organic sulfur content increased near pyrite grains after the coals were charred at 550??C, indicating that some of the pyritic sulfur released during charring was retained within the organic matrix rather than being emitted to the atmosphere. One of the coal samples and its chars were isotopically characterized by chemically separating the pyritic and organic sulfur fractions, followed by analyzing the isotopes of the sulfur forms with a Nuclide 6-60 ratio mass spectrometer. The sulfur isotope (??34S) data confirmed the movement of pyritic sulfur into the macerals after charring to 550??C. About 18% of the organic sulfur that remained in the 550??C char had originally been pyritic sulfur in the untreated coal. ?? 1993.
Additional publication details
SEM-EDX and isotope characterization of the organic sulfur in macerals and chars in Illinois Basin coals