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Environmental impact of coal burning: New reference materials enable accurate measurement

4 December, 2013

Knowing the heating value and the trace element load is important to reduce the environmental impact of coal. Sulfur and trace elements in coal are sources of air-borne pollution. The new reference materials, which are hard coal, brown coal and furnace coke, are certified for their heating value, ash, sulfur, chlorine and trace element content.

"These reference materials improve the quality of coal analysis, which provides accurate data for evaluating environmental impact," says a JRC scientist. "Heating value and sulfur and ash content also set the financial value of coals." Users of the coal CRMs would be laboratories analysing coal, which could be from coal and coke producers as well as from coal and coke users, i.e. coal and coke burning installations such as power stations and steel industry.

Hard coal, brown coal (lignite) and furnace coke were produced in units of 50 g. The certified values were established in two inter-comparisons of 22 international laboratories of demonstrated competence. The materials are available from JRC-IRMM and its authorised distributors as ERM-EF411 hard coal, ERM-EF412 brown coal and ERM-EF413 furnace coke. 


Latest update 4 December, 2013

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