Petrographic and reflectance analysis of solvent-swelled and solvent-extracted South African vitrinite-rich and inertinite-rich coals

Daniel Van Niekerk, Gareth D. Mitchell, Jonathan P. Mathews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Maceral transitions during solvent swelling and extraction of two South African coals similar in rank and age, but different in maceral composition, were evaluated. Inertinite-rich Highveld coal (dominated by semifusinite) and vitrinite-rich Waterberg coal were used. Maceral-group analysis of solvent-extracted and solvent-swelled residues showed no changes in the maceral composition for both coals. Solvent-extracted residues exhibited significant observable changes of some particles: particle fracturing, decrease in reflectance and rounding of particle edges. Inertinite-rich coal exhibited extensive fracturing during solvent treatment. Random reflectance analyses of both coals showed that solvent treatment reduces reflectance values of both vitrinite and inertinite. Vitrinite reflectograms showed a shift from the dominant reflecting V-types to lower-reflecting V-types. The inertinite reflectograms exhibited an increase in the number of reflecting inertinite-types (I-types) with solvent treatment, resulting in a broadening of the reflectograms. The changes in reflectance between the original and solvent-treated coal may be attributed to a combination of structural, elemental or surface changes. Current data for these South African coals suggests a relationship between solvent extraction and mean random reflectance: the higher the extraction yields the lower the mean random reflectance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Geology
Volume81
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 7 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Stratigraphy

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