Quality of coals in Indiana: Collecting new data

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Sep 1, 2001 Jun 30, 2002 Clay, Daviess, Gibson, Greene, Parke, Spencer, Vigo
Director: Maria Mastalerz
Other Researchers: and John Rupp
Issue: The Danville and the Lower Block Coal Members are of great economic importance for Indiana because they have significant resources of low- and medium-sulfur coals and are the main sources of the compliance coal in the Illinois Basin. In addition, the Lower Block coal shows good coking properties and could be used in coking blends. Far too few analyses of coal quality are available from these two seams.

Data on the quality of the final coal product that is sent to customers from Indiana mines are almost non-existent. Because the majority of Indiana coals are washed before being sent to the customers, and because there are no data available on the coal product, no reliable estimations of the combustion emissions can be made. In fact, these estimates will be made based on the raw coal data, and sulfur dioxide and trace-elements emissions will be grossly overestimated, creating an undeserved bad impression of Indiana coals. Some recent studies clearly demonstrated that the coal products from selected Indiana mines are far superior to the raw coal in terms of sulfur and trace element content. In addition, the analysis of the combustion byproducts (fly ash, bottom ash) from the individual coals are needed. None of this type of data is publicly available in Indiana.
Objective: The main objective is to collect coal samples and obtain new analyses on coals to expand the coal-quality database.
Approach: This project involves collection and analysis of samples from ten Indiana mines: five in the Danville Coal Member and five in the Lower Block Coal Member. From each mine selected, a representative raw seam sample and the final (washed) coal product is collected, wherever possible. In addition, bench samples will be collected from each location.
Products: About 200 samples with a complete suite of coal analyses (raw coal and washed fraction) will be added to the coal-quality database. In addition, data on fly ash will be available and compared to those of the raw coal.
Benefits: Additional data on coal quality will add to a better understanding of Indiana's coal resource. Data on trace elements especially will expand our limited knowledge about trace elements in Indiana coals.