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Occurrence and characteristics of abundant fine included mineral particles in Collie coal of Western Australia

Wu, H., Gao, X., Wee, H., Ngu, L-N, Ninomiya, Y. and Wang, Q. (2018) Occurrence and characteristics of abundant fine included mineral particles in Collie coal of Western Australia. Fuel, 216 . pp. 53-60.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2017.11.118
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Abstract

Collie coal is the only coal being mined in Western Australia and plays an important role in supplying cheap energy to the State’s energy mix. This study reports a systematic investigation into the occurrence and characteristics of the fine mineral matter in Collie coal that is crushed to the size of <212 µm and density separated. The results show that 94.1 wt% of the mineral matter in the whole Collie coal is present in the three density fractions of 1.2–1.4, 1.4–1.6 and ≥2.0, including 26.8 and 58.6 wt% as included mineral matter in two density fractions with specific gravities of 1.2–1.4 and 1.4–1.6, and 8.7 wt% as excluded mineral matter in the density fraction of ≥2.0. Further analysis of these key Collie coal density fractions using computer-controlled scanning electron microscopy (CCSEM) shows that 54.13 wt% of the total mineral matter in the whole Collie coal are fine mineral particles of sizes <10 μm. These included fine mineral particles (<10 μm) are distributed as 20%:80% in the two coal density fractions of 1.2–1.4 and 1.4–1.6, which contribute to 10.64 and 43.49 wt% of the total mineral matter in the whole coal, respectively. CCSEM analysis also shows that the key minerals in the fine mineral particles are quartz, kaolinite, K-, Ca- or Fe-Al silicates and pyrite-related minerals. However, large proportions of these included fine mineral particles have “unclassified” mineral phases. Such unclassified particles contribute to 43.88 and 36.84 wt% of the fine mineral particles with size <10 µm present in the coal density fractions of 1.2–1.4 and 1.4–1.6 (equivalent to 4.67 and 16.02 wt% of the total mineral matter in the whole coal), respectively. The chemistry data show that these individual fine mineral particles (<10 µm) contain mixed compositions of Si + Al, Fe + Ti and other elements such as Ca, K, S and P, suggesting that one single fine mineral particle contains multiple mineral phases.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/39903
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