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The potential exists for predicting organic sulfur (So) contents of specific macerals within a coal based on total So content of the coal, rank of the coal, and maximum reflectivity in oil (Ro) of the macerals in question. In the past, determination of So content of specific macerals necessitated either a microanalysis technique, such as electron probe microanalysis (EPM), or analysis of maceral separates. Ten coal samples ranging in rank from low volatile to lignite and total So content from 0.47 to 4.51 wt. % were studied. Within each of the 10 coals, approximately 100 macerals ranging from the lowest reflecting exinites to the highest reflecting inertinites were analyzed for So content (using EPM techniq es) and Ro (using petrographic techniques). For each coal, log of maceral So content was plotted versus log of maceral Ro, and a linear regression of the data points was performed. On a three-dimensional plot, slopes of the 10 linear regressions were plotted versus the respective coal ranks versus the respective coal total So contents. Results indicate that relationships between So content and Ro of macerals within a coal are dependent on both the rank and total So content of the coal. As total So content of a coal equals So content of the vitrinite in that coal, the results suggest that predictive relationships exist between maceral So content, maceral Ro, coal total o content, and coal rank that may allow determination of maceral So contents without the need for microanalysis.
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