Rapid Vitrinite Reflectance & Fluorescence Measurements With the 508 Coal™ from CRAIC Technologies

Coal is a vital source of energy. The 508 Coal™ is the newest Vitrinite Reflectance Measurement System from CRAIC Technologies and is designed to determine the grade of coal and coke by vitrinite reflectance.  This is used ensure that the coal blends used in energy generation are optimum and consistent from batch to batch.  However, the 508 Coal™ does far more than that.  It can also be used to acquire fluorescence and reflectance spectra of geological samples in order to more accurately grade them.  It even offers a Raman microspectroscopy feature for petrographic analysis.

Vitrinite is a maceral of coal and is comprised of various polymers, cellulose and lignin. Measuring the amount of light reflected by vitrinite macerals is a key test to determine the thermal maturity of the coal blend and its suitability for steel production. The procedure has been standardized by a number of international bodies including both ISO and ASTM. All of the standards require the use of a microscope spectrophotometer such as the 508 Coal™: a device designed to measure the intensity of light reflected from a microscopic sampling area. The procedure is simple: the 508 Coal™ measures the amount of light reflected from samples from the coal blend at hundreds of points after which a statistical analysis is done by the computer. The results of the statistical analysis are used to determine the amount of vitrinite in the coal blend, its thermal maturity and therefore its value for coking. As hundreds of measurements need to be done on each sample, this used to be a very time consuming process. Now the 508 Coal™ can automate this process and dramatically improve a laboratories throughput and accuracy. The results is a histogram from which the thermal maturity of the coal to be used in steel production can be determined.

The 508 Coal™ can also do more than just measure vitrinite reflectance. It can also be used to measure the reflectance and fluorescence spectra of coals in addition to capturing digital images in full color. This ability to do spectroscopy is especially important as using spectroscopy gives a much higher level of discrimination than the measurement of single color.