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    Comparison of Ashing Techniques for Determination of the Inorganic Content of Peats

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    In recent years there has been an increased interest in peat both as a precursor of coal and as an alternative fossil fuel. One of the most important tests used to evaluate or describe peat is measurement of its inorganic (or ash) content. Numerous methods for determining ash content have been proposed by various researchers. The purpose of this research, therefore, was to compare ash yields produced from the same samples of peat by several of these methods. These include the present ASTM standards for peat (D 2974) and coal (D 3174), along with more recent developments such as electronic Low Temperature Ashing (LTA).

    For this study a series of large bulk samples were utilized from several presently or potentially exploitable peat deposits. These samples represented a wide range of depositional environments, botanical compositions, and inorganic and mineral suites. In some samples the mean difference in ash weight between methods was as high as 26% on a dry weight basis, while in other samples there was little if any significant distinction. The overall results indicate that there is a direct relation between the mineral composition of the inorganic fraction and the tendency for distinct statistical differences in the ash results from the different methods utilized.

    The conclusions from this study indicate that a revised standard for the determination of ash content in peat should be considered that would incorporate parts of ASTM D 2974 (peat) and D 3174 (coal) with new procedures utilizing LTA technology.


    peat, ash, ashing temperatures, inorganic content, definition of peat, classification of peat

    Author Information:

    Andrejko, MJ
    University of South CarolinaLos Alamos National Laboratory, ColumbiaLos Alamos, S.C.N.M.

    Fiene, F
    University of Kentucky, Institute for Mining and Minerals Research, Lexington, Ky.

    Cohen, AD
    University of South CarolinaLos Alamos National Laboratory, ColumbiaLos Alamos, S.C.N.M.

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.18

    DOI: 10.1520/STP37331S