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01.07.2014 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2014

Environmental Earth Sciences 1/2014

Occurrence modes and cleaning potential of sulfur and some trace elements in a high-sulfur coal from Pu’an coalfield, SW Guizhou, China

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 1/2014
Autoren:
Wei Cheng, Qin Zhang, Ruidong Yang, Yingzhong Tian

Abstract

In this research, a float-sink test was applied to a Late Permian high-sulfur coal collected from Pu’an coalfield, Southwest in Guizhou, China. To investigate the occurrence modes and the mobility of various trace elements, as well as the cleaning potential of some harmful elements in density separation, coal quality parameters and concentrations of 46 elements of 7 density fractionated samples were determined and statistically analyzed. Results show that larger size and higher density fractions have higher total sulfur content and ash yield than the smaller and lower ones. In fact, most (74.39 %) of the total sulfur occurs in the inorganic matter. Affinity and correlation analysis show that Mo and Ni have apparently strong organic affinity, whereas Rh, Cs, Sr, Co, Nb, Zr, V, Ga, Sc, Be, Ge, Hf, Th, U, Ag, As, In, Cu, Cd, Ta, Li, TI, and Ba are mostly in the heavy fractions. Rare earth element (REE) patterns for the seven density fractions present good uniformity and show that they are of right-inclined pattern type characterized by Light REE (LREE, La ~ Eu) enrichment relative to Heavy REE (HREE, Gd ~ Lu) and pronounced negative δ Eu anomalies. This suggests that REE was mainly derived from basalt-weathered materials. LRREE/HREE ratio variations reveal that LREE has stronger affinity with the organic matter relative to the HREE, while high LRREE/HREE in heavy fractions may be related to pyrite. Supposing the maximum sulfur content of the cleaned coal is 1.00 %, the theoretical removal ratios of Co, TI, and Ba are as high as 90.94, 93.73, and 92.29 %, respectively, while those of As, Ni and Mo are only 56.33, 48.85, and 45.05 %, respectively. As these figures change with different maximum sulfur contents required for the cleaned coal, not only the decrease of sulfur and ash in coal washing, but also the mobility of some harmful trace elements should be taken into consideration.

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