High selenium in the Carboniferous Coal Measures of Northumberland, North East England

Liam A. Bullock (Corresponding Author), John Parnell, Magali Perez, Joseph G Armstrong, Joerg Feldmann, Adrian J. Boyce

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The Carboniferous Lower and Middle Coal Measures coals of the Northumberland Coalfield are anomalously rich in selenium (Se) content (up to 62 ppm) compared to the averages for the common UK and worldwide coals. As well as posing an environmental toxicity threat, Se is now regarded as an important resource for alloys, photovoltaic products and nanotechnologies, and high Se coals in North East England offer an opportunity to assess the Se means of occurrence, origins, transport mechanisms and enrichment in coals. At least two generations of pyrite host high Se in the sampled coal seams: microbial-formed disseminated pyrite (both cubic and framboidal in habit) and later cleat-filling pyrite, identified by petrographic observations, laser ablation methods and sulphur isotope compositions. There is a notable Se enrichment of up to 250 ppm in later formed cleat-filling pyrite. Trace element enrichment may have been sourced and influenced by seawater distribution during diagenesis, and localised dykes and deformation may have acted as an enrichment mechanism for sampled seams in the region. The high Se coals in Northumberland may provide a potential E tech element source and should be considered and carefully managed as coal mining and production are reduced in the area. The study also highlights the nature of Se enrichment in pyritic coals affected by cleat formation and multiple episodes of mineralisation, important as critical element demand continues to increase worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal Of Coal Geology
Volume195
Early online date26 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

Fingerprint

Coal Measures
Selenium
selenium
Coal
Pyrites
coal
pyrite
coal production
nanotechnology
sulfur isotope
Laser ablation
Trace elements
coal mining
Coal mines
Seawater
Nanotechnology
ablation
coal seam
Isotopes
diagenesis

Keywords

  • pyritic coals
  • metalliferous coals
  • selenium
  • coal measures
  • cleat formation
  • Northumberland

Cite this

@article{01bf9d90fbf54e1198eb50c852d54a16,
title = "High selenium in the Carboniferous Coal Measures of Northumberland, North East England",
abstract = "The Carboniferous Lower and Middle Coal Measures coals of the Northumberland Coalfield are anomalously rich in selenium (Se) content (up to 62 ppm) compared to the averages for the common UK and worldwide coals. As well as posing an environmental toxicity threat, Se is now regarded as an important resource for alloys, photovoltaic products and nanotechnologies, and high Se coals in North East England offer an opportunity to assess the Se means of occurrence, origins, transport mechanisms and enrichment in coals. At least two generations of pyrite host high Se in the sampled coal seams: microbial-formed disseminated pyrite (both cubic and framboidal in habit) and later cleat-filling pyrite, identified by petrographic observations, laser ablation methods and sulphur isotope compositions. There is a notable Se enrichment of up to 250 ppm in later formed cleat-filling pyrite. Trace element enrichment may have been sourced and influenced by seawater distribution during diagenesis, and localised dykes and deformation may have acted as an enrichment mechanism for sampled seams in the region. The high Se coals in Northumberland may provide a potential E tech element source and should be considered and carefully managed as coal mining and production are reduced in the area. The study also highlights the nature of Se enrichment in pyritic coals affected by cleat formation and multiple episodes of mineralisation, important as critical element demand continues to increase worldwide.",
keywords = "pyritic coals, metalliferous coals, selenium, coal measures, cleat formation, Northumberland",
author = "Bullock, {Liam A.} and John Parnell and Magali Perez and Armstrong, {Joseph G} and Joerg Feldmann and Boyce, {Adrian J.}",
note = "The authors wish to thank The Banks Group Limited, Gary Morgan and Michael Storey for providing samples, access and data for the Shotton Surface Mine. The authors are also grateful to John Still for his skilled SEM technical support at the ACEMAC facility of the University of Aberdeen. Funding provided by NERC Security of Supply programme (grant NE/L001764/1). The authors are grateful for the thorough and constructive comments and careful editorial handling of Shifeng Dai and one anonymous reviewer, which greatly improved the manuscript.",
year = "2018",
month = "7",
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doi = "10.1016/j.coal.2018.05.007",
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pages = "61--74",
journal = "International Journal Of Coal Geology",
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AU - Bullock, Liam A.

AU - Parnell, John

AU - Perez, Magali

AU - Armstrong, Joseph G

AU - Feldmann, Joerg

AU - Boyce, Adrian J.

N1 - The authors wish to thank The Banks Group Limited, Gary Morgan and Michael Storey for providing samples, access and data for the Shotton Surface Mine. The authors are also grateful to John Still for his skilled SEM technical support at the ACEMAC facility of the University of Aberdeen. Funding provided by NERC Security of Supply programme (grant NE/L001764/1). The authors are grateful for the thorough and constructive comments and careful editorial handling of Shifeng Dai and one anonymous reviewer, which greatly improved the manuscript.

PY - 2018/7/1

Y1 - 2018/7/1

N2 - The Carboniferous Lower and Middle Coal Measures coals of the Northumberland Coalfield are anomalously rich in selenium (Se) content (up to 62 ppm) compared to the averages for the common UK and worldwide coals. As well as posing an environmental toxicity threat, Se is now regarded as an important resource for alloys, photovoltaic products and nanotechnologies, and high Se coals in North East England offer an opportunity to assess the Se means of occurrence, origins, transport mechanisms and enrichment in coals. At least two generations of pyrite host high Se in the sampled coal seams: microbial-formed disseminated pyrite (both cubic and framboidal in habit) and later cleat-filling pyrite, identified by petrographic observations, laser ablation methods and sulphur isotope compositions. There is a notable Se enrichment of up to 250 ppm in later formed cleat-filling pyrite. Trace element enrichment may have been sourced and influenced by seawater distribution during diagenesis, and localised dykes and deformation may have acted as an enrichment mechanism for sampled seams in the region. The high Se coals in Northumberland may provide a potential E tech element source and should be considered and carefully managed as coal mining and production are reduced in the area. The study also highlights the nature of Se enrichment in pyritic coals affected by cleat formation and multiple episodes of mineralisation, important as critical element demand continues to increase worldwide.

AB - The Carboniferous Lower and Middle Coal Measures coals of the Northumberland Coalfield are anomalously rich in selenium (Se) content (up to 62 ppm) compared to the averages for the common UK and worldwide coals. As well as posing an environmental toxicity threat, Se is now regarded as an important resource for alloys, photovoltaic products and nanotechnologies, and high Se coals in North East England offer an opportunity to assess the Se means of occurrence, origins, transport mechanisms and enrichment in coals. At least two generations of pyrite host high Se in the sampled coal seams: microbial-formed disseminated pyrite (both cubic and framboidal in habit) and later cleat-filling pyrite, identified by petrographic observations, laser ablation methods and sulphur isotope compositions. There is a notable Se enrichment of up to 250 ppm in later formed cleat-filling pyrite. Trace element enrichment may have been sourced and influenced by seawater distribution during diagenesis, and localised dykes and deformation may have acted as an enrichment mechanism for sampled seams in the region. The high Se coals in Northumberland may provide a potential E tech element source and should be considered and carefully managed as coal mining and production are reduced in the area. The study also highlights the nature of Se enrichment in pyritic coals affected by cleat formation and multiple episodes of mineralisation, important as critical element demand continues to increase worldwide.

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KW - metalliferous coals

KW - selenium

KW - coal measures

KW - cleat formation

KW - Northumberland

U2 - 10.1016/j.coal.2018.05.007

DO - 10.1016/j.coal.2018.05.007

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JO - International Journal Of Coal Geology

JF - International Journal Of Coal Geology

SN - 0166-5162

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