Coal in the Eastern Kentucky coalfield has been, and continues to be, a valuable energy resource, especially for the electric utility industry. However, Federal mandates in Titles III and IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 have placed increasingly stringent demands on the type and grade of coal that can be burnt in an environmentally acceptable manner. Therefore, a greater understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of thickness and quality parameters, and the geologic factors that control their distribution, is critical if the Eastern Kentucky coalfield is to continue to be a major producer of high-quality coal. Information from the Kentucky Geological Survey's Coal Resource Information System database is used in this paper to document the geographic and stratigraphic distribution of important factors such as bed thickness, calorific value, ash yield and total sulfur content. The distribution of 15 elements that naturally occur in trace amounts in Kentucky coal is also discussed, as these elements may require monitoring with passage of Title III of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. ?? 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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Coal quality trends and distribution of potentially hazardous trace elements in Eastern Kentucky coals