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Kansas Geological Survey, Current Research in Earth Sciences, Bulletin 240, part 3
Chert Gravel and Neogene Drainage in East-central Kansas--page 4 of 16
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Previous Investigations of Chemical Composition of Kansas Coals

Except for those elements commonly reported in the ultimate analysis of coal (S, C, H, O, and N), previous analyses of the chemical composition of Kansas coals are limited. Schleicher and Hambleton (1954) analyzed 24 samples from six Middle Pennsylvanian Kansas coals--Tebo, Mineral, Croweburg, Bevier, Mulky and Mulberry coals (see fig. 1 for relative stratigraphic positions)--for germanium (Ge) content. They found germanium content ranging from 6.9 to 48 ppm, with the Mulky coal sample in Bourbon County and a Mulberry coal sample in Linn County having the highest concentrations (41 ppm and 48 ppm, respectively). A later study by Schleicher (1959) on 20 different Middle and Upper Pennsylvanian Kansas coal beds showed germanium content to range from 6 to 116 ppm. These analyses showed generally higher germanium content in those coals higher in the stratigraphic section; for example, the 23 samples of Nodaway coal from the Upper Pennsylvanian (Virgilian) Wabaunsee Group had a mean germanium content of 51 ppm, and seven samples of Upper Williamsburg coal from the Upper Pennsylvanian (Virgilian) Douglas Group had a mean germanium content of 52 ppm.

Analyses of the major and minor oxide composition of two Kansas coal ash samples were included in a summary report on major ash constituents in U.S. coals by Abernethy et al. (1969, p. 4). Information on the major and minor elements of the Mulberry, Mulky, Croweburg, Fleming, Mineral, Tebo, Weir-Pittsburg, Drywood (spelled Dry Wood in Kansas), and Rowe coals in southwestern Missouri and the Bevier, Croweburg, and Rowe coals in northeastern Oklahoma that have stratigraphic continuity into Kansas is presented in Zubovic et al. (1967), Swanson et al. (1976), Wedge et al. (1976), Wedge and Hatch (1980), Burchett (1977), Finkelman et al. (1990), and Tewalt and Finkelman (1990). The Mulberry coal analyses obtained from samples collected in Bates County, Missouri by Wedge and Hatch (1980) are relevant to the characterization of Kansas coals because the locations are within 2 mi (3.2 km) of the Linn County, Kansas, area where the Mulberry coal has been extensively mined.

Mineral content in Kansas coals was discussed as part of a larger study by Hambleton (1953, p. 50-61) on the petrography of the Mineral, Croweburg, and Bevier coals. Detrital minerals determined in that study included quartz, clay minerals, and apatite with authigenic minerals consisting of calcite, aragonite, pyrite, marcasite, and minor amounts of sphalerite. Hatch, Avcin et al. (1976) and Cobb (1981) identified sphalerite in the Mineral, Croweburg, and Mulky coals in Kansas after preliminary sample analyses of these beds indicated high zinc contents. Sphalerite was also identified in the Mineral and Mulberry coals a few miles from the Kansas border in Vernon and Bates counties, Missouri. Based on X-ray diffraction work, Finkelman et al. (1990, p. 36) characterized the mineralogy of eight coal samples (including samples from the Mineral, Croweburg, and Bevier coals), showing the main minerals to be calcite and pyrite.

Part of the data listed in this report were published in three earlier reports. These include analyses of 14 samples in Swanson et al. (1976, p. 279-287), zinc and cadmium analyses for 16 samples in Hatch, Avcin et al. (1976), and proximate, ultimate, and trace element analyses of six samples of Rowe and Dry Wood coals in Welch and Brady (1982, p. 22-25). A summary paper of analytical data on coals from the western region of the Interior Coal Province by Finkelman and Tewalt (1990) included a summary of Kansas coal samples in addition to summaries of samples from Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

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Kansas Geological Survey
Web version March 18, 1998
http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Current/1997/brady/brady4.html
email:lbrosius@kgs.ku.edu