Stratigraphy of the Brazil Formation coal and their potential for coking - Phase 2

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Jul 1, 2017 Jun 30, 2018 All Counties
Director: Maria Mastalerz
Other Researchers: Alyssa Bancroft, Agnieszka Drobniak, Patrick McLaughlin Phil Ames - Research Affiliate LaBraun Hampton - hourly
Funding: Indiana University - Indiana Geological & Water Survey
Issue: Coal of the Brazil and Staunton Formations are discontinuous, difficult to correlate, and their resources are unknown. Their stratigraphy is also not well established and, in the light of our recent study, current stratigraphic nomenclature may need to be reviewed and perhaps revised. Some coals of the Brazil Formation are of great quality, having low sulfur and ash content. Some of them also show unusually good coking properties for their rank.
Objective: Two main objectives of this project are: 1) advance understanding of the stratigraphy of the Brazil and Staunton Formation coals so that the seam identification and correlation become more reliable within the state as well as the entire Illinois Basin; and 2) investigate properties of the coals with the special emphasis on coking properties and consequently on their application in the steel industry
Approach: We will utilize lithostratigraphic, biostratigraphic, and chemical techniques in this project. Specifically we will: 1) Analyze geophysical logs and mining information to refine the extent of these coals and evaluate their volumes, and improve understanding of their stratigraphy. 2) Collect new coal samples from coal mines and analyze them for coal quality, petrographically, and palynologically 3) Collect carbonate samples to be analyzed for conodonts 4) Select cores for XRF analysis to assist with correlations 5) Integrate the new data into the existing databases
Products: -We will produce a peer-reviewed publication. -We will present data at a national conference -New coal data will be added to our databases
Benefits: -This project will advance our understanding of the stratigraphy of the Atokan and early Desmoinesian rocks in the Illinois Basin. -This project will provide new data on the properties of the coals of the Brazil Formation and promote the use of these coals in coking blends -It will foster our collaboration with Illinois State Geological Survey and Kentucky Geological Survey