“Distinguishing Coal, Coke and Other Black Particles” (2009)

2009:160:Millette, Brown, Kyle, Turner, Hill, Boltin

Microscope, Vol 57:2, p.51-57


Particles of coal (anthracite, bituminous, and lignite) and coke can be distinguished from other black particles based on light microscopy examination. It is possible to distinguish between coal and petroleum coke particles based on their elemental composition as determined by electron microscopy X-ray analysis. This paper provides some background information about each substance and augments the information in The Particle Atlas (published by McCrone Research Institute) about the particle characteristics as determined by light and electron microscopy. Example micrographs and X-ray elemental spectra of particles of coal and petroleum coke are included.

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