Item Number: RP42
Map Scale: 1:0

Two of the most economically important Indiana coal beds, the Springfield Coal Member of the Petersburg Formation and the Danville Coal Member of the Dugger Formation, were analyzed to investigate the influence of coal composition on carbon dioxide emissions in power plants. For the Springfield Coal, carbon dioxide emissions range from 165.6 to 257.5 lb/mln Btu (71.4-111 kg/GJ) and the average is 201.8 lb/mln Btu (87.0 kg/GJ); for the Danville Coal, the range varies from 173.0 to 216.2 lb/mln Btu (74.6-93.2 kg/GJ), and the average is 203.3 lb/mln Btu (87.6 kg/GJ). Lithotypes from vitrain to durain show similar carbon dioxide emissions for the coals studied, regardless of their wide range of variations for properties such as moisture, ash, and sulfur content. Therefore, lithotype composition cannot serve as a good predictor of emission level. An exception is fusain, which has significantly higher emissions per ton. Inertinite macerals in general contribute to elevated carbon dioxide emissions, and this is particularly well demonstrated for the lithotype fusain. Carbon dioxide emissions tend to decrease with increasing liptinite content. Therefore, the mutual proportions of inertinite and liptinite macerals can shift carbon dioxide emissions toward higher or lower values. Analysis of carbon dioxide emissions at the Petersburg and Cayuga Power Plants shows the complexity of the controlling factors and the difficulty in separating the influence of coal properties from the efficiency of the burning units and specifics of the combustion process. The relationships are also difficult to analyze because we have no direct information regarding which coals directly correspond to the emission values reported by the power plants.



Mastalerz, M., Drobniak, A., and Shaffer, K. R., 2012, Predicted carbon dioxide emissions from Indiana coals during combustion: Indiana Geological Survey Report of Progress 42, 48 p., 29 figs., 6 tables.


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Keywords: carbon dioxide, CO2, coal, coal combustion , emissions

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