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Chapter 4 | Coal and Coke Testing
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Coal and coke testing may be divided into three categories: proximate analysis, ultimate analysis, and miscellaneous analysis. In the case of coal and coke, proximate analysis is the determination, by prescribed methods, of the contents of moisture, volatile matter, and ash, and the calculation of fixed carbon by difference. ASTM D3172—Practice for Proximate Analysis of Coal and Coke, lists the standard test methods and practices used to collect proximate analysis data. As defined in ASTM D3176—Practice for Ultimate Analysis of Coal and Coke, ultimate analysis of coal and coke is the determination of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur in the gaseous products of the complete combustion of the material, the determination of ash content in the material as a whole, and the estimation of oxygen content by difference.Miscellaneous analysis is a collective category for various types of physical and chemical tests for coal that are commonly requested by coal producers and buyers. Some chemical analyses included in this category are the determination of calorific value, analysis of the forms of sulfur, analysis of the forms of carbon, chlorine analysis, major and minor elements in ash analysis, and trace element analysis. Some other tests included in this category are the determinations of free-swelling index (FSI), grind-ability, plastic properties of coal, and ash fusibility.Some of the methods of coal analysis are empirical and require strict adherence to specified conditions, such as particle size, temperature, time and rate of heating, and so on. The establishment of uniform specifications that are recognized as standards and supported by authoritative organizations is essential. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) represents the United States at the international standards level and is similar to the British Standards Institute (BSI) in the United Kingdom, the Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) in Germany, and Australian Standards (SA). However, unlike BSI, DIN and SA, ANSI does not develop standards for coal and coke, but looks to other organizations for such work. Committee D05 on Coal and Coke of ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) has the responsibility, as granted by ANSI, of developing standard procedures for coal and coke sampling and analysis. This committee consists of approximately 350 members divided among producers, consumers, and those who have a general interest in coal.