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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database
Proper evaluation of coals for utilization, whether it is to be combustion, carbonization, gasification, or liquefaction depends on a knowledge of the petrographic (maceral) composition of the coals in question. This petrographic study of West Virginia coals was designed to provide a basic knowledge of the composition of the state's coals, with specific reference to utilization. Compositional trends and their causal influences were evaluated.
Thirty major seams were quantitatively analyzed, and the data were displayed in histograms for interpretation of the resulting frequency distributions. The frequency distributions of the macerals were generally non-normal with minor macerals showing highly negatively skewed histograms, and major maceral distributions displaying bimodal characteristics.
Both areal and vertical stratigraphic trends were evident in the abundance of some macerals. Q-mode factor analysis related these trends in composition to metamorphism (rank), plant evolution, and sedimentary environments of peat deposition. The knowledge acquired on coal composition, its expected variation, and factors influencing composition can be applied to the evaluation of West Virginia coals for many utilization technologies.
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