(633i) Evaluation of Critical Trace Elements Including Rare Earth Elements in U.S. Coals
AIChE Annual Meeting
Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 10:16am to 10:33am
Coal is a potential source of some valuable critical elements. In this work, concentrations of 40 critical elements in U.S. coals were evaluated using the COALQUAL Database Version 3.0 with the main objective to identify best coal sources for potential recovery of these critical elements. A method was proposed to calculate the mean concentrations of critical elements in U.S. coals. According to the calculated mean concentrations, a rough estimate indicates that U.S. coals contain a large amount of critical elements that are enough to meet U.S. demands for many years to come, if these elements can be commercially extracted. Results further indicate that despite some variations among elements, bituminous coals from the Appalachian region are likely to have high concentrations of Li, Ga, Be, Se, Sb, Y, and rare earth elements (REE), which make them a potential source of these critical elements. Bituminous coals from the Interior Coal Province, both Eastern and Western, were found to have relatively high probabilities of having high Ge concentrations. In addition, data quality will also be discussed.