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Concerning the Application of FT-IR to the Study of Coal: A Critical Assessment of Band Assignments and the Application of Spectral Analysis Programs

Volume 35, Number 5 (Oct. 1981) Page 475-485

Painter, Paul C.; Snyder, Randy W.; Starsinic, Michael; Coleman, Michael M.; Kuehn, Deborah W.; Davis, Alan


The problems associated with the application of FT-IR to the characterization of coal structure are critically discussed. The controversies concerning band assignments are considered and it is concluded that the strong 1600 cm−1 band can be assigned to an aromatic ring stretching mode that in most coals is intensity enhanced by the presence of phenolic groups. The application of computer routines to the determination of OH and CH groups is considered. Established criteria for curve fitting are applied to the problem. Qualitative identification of functional groups is achieved, but consistent quantitative measurements will require a determination of the relationship between the extinction coefficients of resolved bands.