Distribution, enrichment and modes of occurrence of arsenic in Chinese coals

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Abstract

Arsenic is one of the toxic trace elements in coals, which is harmful to both the ecological environment and human health. Based on published literature and the data obtained by our research group, a total of 5314 As concentrations of Chinese coals were analyzed. The arithmetic mean of arsenic content in Chinese coals is 6.97 mg/kg. Choosing the percentage of provincial coal resources in national coal resources as the weighting factor, the weighted average of arsenic content in Chinese coals is 5.33 mg/kg. The content of arsenic in Chinese coals increases from the north to the south. High arsenic content in coal primarily occurs in southwestern Yunnan and certain coalfields in the Guizhou Province. Additionally, arsenic is enriched in the coals from some regions, i.e., the western Yunnan, Guangxi, Tibet, southwestern Liaoning, Jilin, and Henan. The arsenic content in coals of different coal-forming periods shows an overall regularity: Paleogene and Neogene > Late Triassic > Late Permian > Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous > Early and Middle Jurassic > Late Carboniferous and Early Permian. The modes of occurrence of arsenic in coals include sulfide-association, organic-association, arsenate-association, silicate-association, and soluble- and exchangeable-association. Generally, arsenic in Chinese coals exists predominantly in arsenic-bearing pyrite. Meanwhile, the organic arsenic content is relatively high in coal samples with a lower (<5.5 mg/kg) arsenic content and a low or medium ash yield (<30%).

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Guo, J., Yao, D., Chen, P., Chen, J., & Shi, F. (2017, July 1). Distribution, enrichment and modes of occurrence of arsenic in Chinese coals. Minerals. MDPI AG. https://doi.org/10.3390/min7070114

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