Applied Rigaku Technologies is pleased to publish a new application report which details the analysis of sulfur in coal using the Rigaku NEX QC EDXRF analyzer. Rigaku Application Note #1231 demonstrates the capability of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (EDXRF) for cost-effective measurement of sulphur in coal.

Sulfur is a leading element of interest in coal analysis. Coal contains varying amounts of sulfur, based in part on how much sulfure and iron combined in the peat as it is formed into coal and the wetness of the climate during formation. In the buring of coal, higher sulfur content causes more rapid corrosion of metal equipment, while sulfur is also an environmental pollutant as it burns. The measurement of the sulphur content in cola is therefore essential for the assessing the character and value of the coal. From mining to undustrial use, a rapid, simple means of monitoring sulfur levels in coal is critical.

The new method applies to the determination of total sulfur in coal as well as the other major elements which are measure for their effect on the sulfur reading. Pyrite is a major mineral found in most coal. In the case of measuring two or more distinct coal types, for example sulfur bearing coal that is not primarily pyrite and a coal is mainly pyrite, optimum accuracy can be achieved by building separate calibrations for each distinct coal type.

This analysis is accomplished by use of a simple and versatile benchtop EDXRF analyzer. The performance described demonstrates the ability of the NEX QC analyzer to yield excellent results for the analysis of sulfur in coal, without the need for helium purge. The measurement of other present elements to compensate for their effects on the sulfur reading shows the flexibility of the NEX QC for multi-element analysis.

A copy of this report many be requested at: AppNote