Relationships between noble metals as potential coal combustion products and conventional coal properties

S. Chehreh Chelgani, James C. Hower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Increasing coal consumption has generated million tons of ash and caused various environmental issues. Exploring statistical relationships between concentrations of valuable metals in coal and other coal properties may have several benefits for their commercial extraction as byproducts. This investigation studied relationships between conventional coal concentrations and concentration of noble metals for a wide range (708 samples) of eastern Kentucky coal samples (EKCS) by statistical methods. The results indicate that there are significant positive Pearson correlations (r) > 0.90 among all noble metals (Au, Pt, Pd, Ru and Rh) except for Ag (r < 0.2). The results also showed that the noble metals (except Ag) are associated with the minerals of the coal and have high positive correlations with ash (and high negative correlations with the organic fraction). Modeling through the database demonstrated that the highest Au concentrations in the EKCS occur when Si is between 6000 and 8000 ppm and Fe is below 10000 ppm, and the highest Ag was observed when both Cu and Ni were over 40 ppm. Outcomes suggested that aluminosilicate minerals and pyrite are possibly the main host of noble metals (except Ag) in the EKCS whereas Ag might occur in various forms including organic association, mineral species, and as a native metal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-349
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Aug 15 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Ash
  • Byproducts
  • Coal consumption
  • Noble metals
  • Organic matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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