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Depth Profile Study of Large-Sized Coal Samples by Fourier Transform Infrared Photoacoustic Spectroscopy

Volume 40, Number 2 (Feb. 1986) Page 214-217

Zerlia, Tiziana


A multidisciplinary approach is demonstrated to elucidate coal weathering at a molecular level. Fourier Transform Infrared Photoacoustic Spectroscopy (FT-IR/PAS) provides a technique for a compositional depth profile of coal by simply varying the modulation frequency (mirror velocity) of the light impinging upon the solid surface. In order that the potential of this technique in this field could be evaluated, large-sized coal samples were examined. The PA difference spectra obtained from the spectra taken at different modulation frequencies (i.e., different depths), on a sample aged in air, demonstrate the appearance of negative features in the CH infrared absorption which are indicative of a coal alteration. Therefore, different coal layers can be distinguished by FT-IR/PAS. The application of the same technique to the study of a coal sample heated in air at 200°C allows the detection of different oxidation mechanisms operating inside and outside the coal. Although quantitative results are difficult to obtain, the technique can be successfully proposed for a qualitative description of coal weathering.