Mineralogy of a rare earth element-rich Manchester coal lithotype, Clay County, Kentucky

James C. Hower, Dali Qian, Nicolas J. Briot, Madison M. Hood, Cortland F. Eble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many Eastern Kentucky coals have high-REE contents, with lithotypes of the Pennsylvanian-age Manchester coal rivaling some of the richest concentrations in the Fire Clay coal, arguably the premier resource in terms of concentration and aerial extent. A > 2000-ppm-REE + Y (REY; ash basis; 2.13% ash) Manchester coal lithotype, analyzed first by scanning electron microscopy, was selected for detailed transmission electron microscopy/ energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy/ fast Fourier transform/ selected area electron diffraction investigation (TEM/EDS/FFT/SAED). The mineral grains extracted from the coal, seemingly fragments of one or more 2- to 3-μm spherical nodules, proved to have a phosphate (rhabdophane?) rim with a light REE (La through Sm) and Gd association. The core of the nodule and the region surrounding the nodule is Al[sbnd]Si rich but the mineralogy could not be determined. The nodule may be a mineralized coprolite, the product of the microfauna inhabiting the peat.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103413
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Geology
Volume220
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by U.S. Department of Energy contract DE-FE0029007 to the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center with a subcontract to the University of Kentucky. Access to characterization instruments and staff assistance was provided by the Electron Microscopy Center at the University of Kentucky, supported in part by the National Science Foundation/EPSCoR Award No. 1355438 and by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We thank editor Shifeng Dai and our reviewers for their constructive comments.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by U.S. Department of Energy contract DE-FE0029007 to the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center with a subcontract to the University of Kentucky. Access to characterization instruments and staff assistance was provided by the Electron Microscopy Center at the University of Kentucky, supported in part by the National Science Foundation/EPSCoR Award No. 1355438 and by the Commonwealth of Kentucky . We thank editor Shifeng Dai and our reviewers for their constructive comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Coprolite
  • Electron microscopy
  • Lanthanides
  • Phosphate
  • Rare earth elements
  • Rhabdophane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Stratigraphy

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