Introduction Department of Energy Coal Sample Bank & Database

 

Penn State is maintaining a suite of 38 well preserved DECS samples, collected in an ongoing effort begun in 1989, in addition to about 500 PSOC samples dating back to April 1967. The coals represent a wide spectrum of the major coalfields of the United States and were selected in order to achieve a useful distribution of important coals by rank, geologic province, maceral composition, sulfur content and forms, and ash yield and composition. Due consideration was also given to the prior use of these coal by researchers and to their economic importance. The DECS coals in the Penn State Coal Sample Bank listed on the right are the samples recommended for research owing to more efficient preservation techniques. PSOC samples have historical value, but their preservation is suspect. Most were collected as full-seam channel samples (Chan-Seam); however, drill cutting (Drll-Seam), working section of seam (Chan-Work), bench (Chan-Bnch), lithotype (Chan-Lith), run-of-mine (ROM), cleaning plant (Cleaning-Plt.) and Grab samples were also acquired.

 

 

DOE Coal Sample Bank

 

                             ASTM  Sample                            Ash,    S,   Btu/lb,   C,    H,    V.M., Vit.  VRo
Sample     Seam              Rank  Type      State  County     Year   dry    dry   dmmf    dmmf  dmmf   dmmf   %     %   

DECS-1     Bottom            subC  Chan-Seam  TX  Freestone    1989  15.8   0.99  13239   75.9   5.8   55.5   78   0.36
DECS-2*    Illinois #6       hvCb  Chan-Seam  IL  Randolph     1989  16.2   4.52  14556   81.8   5.7   43.8   87   0.52
DECS-3     Coal Basin M      mvb   Chan-Seam  CO  Gunnison     1990   5.4   0.65  15831   88.1   5.9   28.2   94   1.28
DECS-4     Blue              hvCb  Chan-Seam  NM  McKinley     1990   6.2   0.46  13951   78.9   5.8   48.1   88   0.51
DECS-5     Hiawatha          hvCb  Chan-Work  UT  Sevier       1990   8.5   0.56  14073   80.4   5.5   43.6   66   0.59
DECS-6     Blind Canyon      hvAb  Chan-Work  UT  Emery        1990   5.8   0.40  14874   81.9   6.3   46.9   69   0.66
DECS-7     Adaville #1       hvCb  Chan-Seam  WY  Lincoln      1990   4.2   0.98  13710   77.8   5.6   47.8   95   0.45
DECS-8     Smith-Roland      subC  ROM        WY  Campbell     1990  13.8   0.73  13148   75.8   5.3   51.8   79   0.37
DECS-9     Dietz             subB  Drll-Seam  MT  Bighorn      1990   6.4   0.41  13251   76.1   5.2   47.1   88   0.38
DECS-10    Rosebud           subB  Chan-Work  MT  Rosebud      1990  12.6   1.16  13378   79.7   4.3   46.9   74   0.42
DECS-11    Beulah            ligA  Chan-Seam  ND  Mercer       1990   9.6   0.74  12350   74.1   4.5   61.6   74   0.35
DECS-12*   Pittsburgh        hvAb  Chan-Seam  PA  Greene       1990  10.3   1.12  15259   84.7   5.8   39.4   83   0.87
DECS-13    Sewell            mvb   Chan-Seam  WV  Greenbrier   1990   4.2   0.62  15604   88.8   5.0   25.7   77   1.35
DECS-14    Upper Kittanning  hvAb  Chan-Work  WV  Barbour      1990  10.5   1.80  15503   87.0   5.6   35.4   89   1.07
DECS-15    Lower Sunnyside   hvAb  Chan-Seam  UT  Carbon       1991  10.1   1.67  14967   84.3   5.7   41.3   77   0.80
DECS-16    Blind Canyon      hvAb  Chan-Work  UT  Emery        1991  13.9   0.47  14749   82.4   6.0   47.3   77   0.64
DECS-17    Blind Canyon      hvAb  Chan-Sect  UT  Emery        1991   6.6   0.44  14897   82.3   6.3   49.7   80   0.59
DECS-18    Kentucky #9       hvBb  Chan-Seam  KY  Union        1991  12.3   4.21  14773   82.2   6.0   45.6   86   0.56
DECS-19    Pocahontas #3     lvb   Chan-Seam  VA  Buchanan     1991   4.6   0.74  15819   90.6   4.9   18.7   89   1.71
DECS-20    Elkhorn #3        hvAb  Chan-Seam  KY  Floyd        1991   5.5   0.97  15173   85.0   5.9   39.2   78   0.87
DECS-21    Lykens Valley #2  an    Chan-Seam  PA  Columbia     1992  11.2   0.50  15122   91.5   4.1    3.9   87   5.19
DECS-22    Upper Kittanning  hvAb  Chan-Lith  PA  Armstrong    1993  23.3   1.71  15827   87.8   6.1   37.8   30   0.77
DECS-23*   Pittsburgh        hvAb  Chan-Seam  PA  Washington   1994   9.4   3.87  15307   84.6   5.8   42.3   79   0.73
DECS-24*   Illinois #6       hvCb  Chan-Seam  IL  Macoupin     1994  13.4   5.53  14407   80.1   5.6   45.5   90   0.49
DECS-25    Pust              ligA  Chan-Seam  MT  Richland     1994  11.9   0.72  12569   75.8   5.3   46.9   74   0.23
DECS-26    Wyodak            subB  ROM        WY  Campbell     1994   7.6   0.43  13237   76.2   6.2   48.1   86   0.29
DECS-27    Deadman           subA  Drll-Seam  WY  Sweetwater   1994  13.9   0.72  13757   79.2   5.4   40.6   74   0.46
DECS-28    Green             hvCb  Chan-Seam  AZ  Navajo       1994   6.1   0.40  13648   77.8   5.5   47.9   76   0.43
DECS-29    Upper Banner #3   hvAb  Chan-Seam  VA  Dickenson    1995   6.4   0.59  15638   87.4   5.6   36.2   71   1.00
DECS-30    Splash Dam        mvb   Chan-Seam  VA  Buchanan     1995   3.9   0.79  15751   88.5   5.4   30.9   77   1.16
DECS-31    Pond Creek        hvAb  Chan-Seam  KY  Pike         1995  10.9   0.60  15538   86.8   5.5   36.6   73   0.99
DECS-32    Stockton-Lewiston hvAb  Chan-Seam  WV  Kanawha      1995  20.3   0.73  15213   85.4   5.8   38.2   68   0.90
DECS-33    Ohio #4A          hvBb  Chan-Seam  OH  Meigs        1995  12.0   3.74  14630   81.8   6.0   47.8   77   0.51
* Samples for which no 6 mm(-1/4 inch) coal remains

Sample Collection and Processing

DECS series samples are the newest and best-preserved samples in the collection, and should be chosen when possible for research requiring moderate quantities of sample. They were collected in 180 kg (400 lb.) quantities from recently exposed areas of active mines, where they were placed in 113 L (30 gal.) steel drums with high-density gaskets and purged with argon. As soon as feasible after collection, processing was performed in order to obtain representative subsamples. These were sealed under argon in foil multilaminate bags, which have been shown by annual monitoring to preserve samples very well, and are kept in refrigerated storage (3oC).

DECS samples are available in packages of three nominal sizes:

  • 50 g (3 oz.) at minus 0.25 mm(-60 mesh)
  • 250 g (2/3 lb) at minus 0.85 mm (-20 mesh)
  • 2.0 kg (5 lb) at minus 6 mm (-1/4 inch)

The 250g containers are the ones most often requested by research agencies. Some non-representative blocks of coal, sealed in argon and refrigerated, are also available for certain coals in the Sample Bank.

 

Older PSOC samples were collected similarly, but 300g samples were placed under argon in polyethylene bags which were then sealed in steel cans. Larger quantities were stored in polyethylene buckets or drums.

Analysis

Each of the DOE Sample Bank coals has been subjected to the following analytical procedures: proximate analysis, ultimate analysis, sulfur forms, calorific value, maceral analysis, vitrinite reflectance (VRo), ash fusion determination, free swelling index, Hardgrove grindability, major inorganic and trace elements, equilibrium moisture, Gieseler plasticity (where appropriate), and CO2.

Sample Availability

Coal samples from the Penn State Sample Bank are available to members of the coal research community. Assistance can be given in identifying samples that match specifications or that best suit the research needs of the requestor.

 A nominal fee is charged for samples:

  • 50 g of -0.25 mm coal    $10 ea
  • 250 g of -0.85 mm coal  $20 ea
  • 2.0 kg of -6.0 mm coal   $70 ea

Beyond this limit and for larger quantities or special preparation of samples, provision will be at cost to the requestor for preparation, mailing and handling. All requests for more than 5 kg (11 lbs.) of a single DECS or PSOC sample will be charged man hour costs associated with preparing larger samples.

Coal Database, Printouts and Searches

The data that have been assembled for each of the Sample Bank coals have been computerized and are available on request for an additional fee of $10.00 each. In addition to the analytical data described above, the Coal Database includes details on sample history, location, geology, and seam strata information.

Full (four to five page) printouts of data in 8 1/2¨ by 11¨ format can be provided for any sample. A one-page printout is available for some samples that contains sample location, geologic information, proximate analysis, equilibrium moisture, calorific value, sulfur forms, ultimate analysis, maceral composition, reflectance data, rank parameters, technologic properties, and physical properties. The full printout includes these data in more detail and calculated to various bases of expression, as well as major inorganic and trace element analyses, ash fusion temperatures, and CO2. Liquefaction, NMR, and Py/gc/ms results are also available separately for most DECS samples.

A staff of professionals at Penn State can undertake Database searched to identify samples meeting specified criteria. Simple searches resulting in tables of data or a set of printouts are done at a nominal cost to researchers. More extensive searches, statistics or electronic transmission of data sets can be performed; a charge may be made for this service.

Investigators can perform their own simple searches on our web site (see below). It includes limited data for all DECS samples and a selected subset of other Penn State samples. However, coal may not be available for all of the samples in this subset. Furthermore, samples for which the 2.0 kg -6.0 mm coal is no longer available are highlighted in red.

Ordering and Assistance

Request forms, a booklet describing the entire Penn State Coal Sample Bank and Database, and assistance in acquiring samples and data can be obtained from:

Coal and Organic Petrology Laboratories
The Pennsylvania State University
104 Academic Projects Building
University Park, PA 16802-2300
(814) 865-6543
Fax: (814) 865-3573
Email: n8h@psu.edu

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