Significance and Use
4.1 This classification establishes categories of coal based on gradational properties that depend principally on the degree of metamorphism to which the coal was subjected while buried. These categories indicate ranges of physical and chemical characteristics that are useful in making broad estimates of the behavior of coal in mining, preparation, and use.
This specification covers the classification of coals by rank, that is, according to their degree of metamorphism, or progressive alteration, in the natural series from lignite to anthracite. These coals are mainly composed of vitrinite. The classification shall be based on gradational properties that depend on the degree of metamorphism. The classification shall also be according to fixed carbon and gross calorific value calculated to the mineral-matter-free basis.
1.1 This standard covers the classification of coals by rank, that is, according to their degree of metamorphism, or progressive alteration, in the natural series from lignite to anthracite.
1.2 This classification is applicable to coals that are composed mainly of vitrinite.
Note 1: Coals rich in inertinite or liptinite (exinite), or both, cannot be properly classified because, in those macerals, the properties that determine rank (calorific value, volatile matter, and agglomerating character) differ greatly from those of vitrinite in the same coal. Often such coals can be recognized by megascopic examination. In North America, these coals are mostly nonbanded varieties that contain only a small proportion of vitrain and consist mainly of attrital materials. The degree of metamorphism of nonbanded and other vitrinite-poor coals can be estimated by determining the classification properties of isolated or concentrated vitrinite fractions, or by determining the reflectance of the vitrinite (see Test Method and of this classification). However, in the use of these vitrinite-poor coals, some properties normally associated with rank, such as rheology, combustibility, hardness, and grindability (as well as the rank determining properties) may differ substantially from those of vitrinite-rich coals of the same degree of metamorphism.
The precision of the classification of impure coal may be impaired by the effect of large amounts of mineral matter on the determination of volatile matter and calorific value, and on their calculation to the mineral-matter-free basis.
1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.
1.3.1 Exception—The values stated in British thermal units per pound (Btu/lb) are to be regarded as the standard. The SI equivalents of Btu/lb are provided for information only and are not considered standard.
1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.