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High selenium in the Carboniferous Coal Measures of Northumberland, north east England

High selenium in the Carboniferous Coal Measures of Northumberland, north east England
High selenium in the Carboniferous Coal Measures of Northumberland, north east England
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.
0166-5162
61-74
Bullock, Liam A.
c6ffb9b0-0a54-4ab2-9edb-f97280e6ce2d
Parnell, John
b86302b0-b930-4b7c-9786-13abc612fef7
Perez, Magali
496b62b9-ca3a-4b78-aaf7-4d14627f5771
Armstrong, Joseph G.
e787408b-d6cd-4355-963e-8590a0ce11db
Feldmann, Joerg
301ee755-b3df-4b0e-9c5e-3ca0f7d1ccc5
Boyce, Adrian J.
e21e60d3-a9ab-4cad-9bd8-f6680f3dbd7f
Bullock, Liam A.
c6ffb9b0-0a54-4ab2-9edb-f97280e6ce2d
Parnell, John
b86302b0-b930-4b7c-9786-13abc612fef7
Perez, Magali
496b62b9-ca3a-4b78-aaf7-4d14627f5771
Armstrong, Joseph G.
e787408b-d6cd-4355-963e-8590a0ce11db
Feldmann, Joerg
301ee755-b3df-4b0e-9c5e-3ca0f7d1ccc5
Boyce, Adrian J.
e21e60d3-a9ab-4cad-9bd8-f6680f3dbd7f

Bullock, Liam A., Parnell, John, Perez, Magali, Armstrong, Joseph G., Feldmann, Joerg and Boyce, Adrian J. (2018) High selenium in the Carboniferous Coal Measures of Northumberland, north east England. International Journal of Coal Geology, 195, 61-74. (doi:10.1016/j.coal.2018.05.007).

Record type: Article

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.

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Accepted/In Press date: 22 May 2018
Published date: 26 May 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421693
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421693
ISSN: 0166-5162
PURE UUID: d0acfba9-d036-4840-9d4f-d58d4270d68b

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Date deposited: 21 Jun 2018 16:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 18:23

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