Analysis of Mineral Phases in Coal Utilizing Factor Analysis

  • Bradley A. Roscoe
  • Philip K. Hopke


There is much interest in the mineral phase inclusions of coal. The contribution of these mineral phases, i.e. calcite, pyrite, etc., to a coal sample may be determined utilizing several techniques: infrared absorption analysis (1), differential thermal analysis (2), electron spectroscopy (3), and x-ray diffraction (4). Other techniques are being utilized to learn how the minor and trace elements are distributed in these mineral phases. Neutron activation analysis in conjunction with coal washability studies have produced some information on the general trends of elemental variation in the mineral phases (5). These results have been enhanced by the use of various statistical techniques. One such statistical technique is target transformation factor analysis (TTFA) which has been previously demonstrated to be able to resolve sources of airborne particulate matter (6,7). Initial studies of TTFA have shown it to be able to produce elemental profiles of the mineral phases in coal (8). An advantage of TTFA is its ability to produce reliable quantitative results with a minimun of prior knowledge. In order to further explore the utility of this approach, a data set consisting of physically fractionated coal samples was generated. These samples were analyzed by neutron activation analysis and then their elemental concentrations examined using TTFA.


Coal Seam Neutron Activation Analysis Mineral Phasis Coal Sample Factor Solution 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bradley A. Roscoe
    • 1
    • 2
  • Philip K. Hopke
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Environmental StudiesUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Nuclear Engineering ProgramUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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