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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 D 2798 and Appendix X1 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 British thermal units per pound are to be regarded as the standard. The SI equivalents of British thermal units per pound are approximate. All other values in SI units are to be regarded as standard.
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