Pearson Coal Petrography

Fingerprinting your coals, cokes, and carbons


For nearly five decades, Pearson and Associates has maintained a strong research interest, with special emphasis on petrographic prediction of coke quality (1, 2, 3, 4, 9); automated microscopy (5, 6, 7, 8, 9); development of new methods of data interpretation (5); and reactivity of inertinites in western Canadian coal (3, 9).
Dr. Pearson delivered papers at Iron & Steel Society annual conferences in Washington (1990), Toronto (1992 & 1998), & Chicago (1994).

Since 2012, our research has been more focused on Coke Petrography (11, 12, 13, 14,15).  More recently joint projects with the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), at the  University of Newcastle and CSIRO (Collaborative and University Studies) have been published. Much of this work is available through ACARP website.

Both Dave & Jen Pearson were actively involved in the International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology – ICCP.  Between 1990 and 1994, and from 2001 to 2008, Dave Pearson was convenor of the ICCP’s Working Group on Automation.

Rich Pearson is currently the Subcommittee chair of ASTM D05.28 on Petrographic Analysis of Coal and Coke, and is a member with the Canadian delegation for the ISO/TC27 group Coal and Coke.

Some published papers on coal and coke research include:

  1. Anomalous coking properties of the Wolgan Seam, NSW, Australia. 1980 Fuel. Vol 59 438-440
  2. Quality of western Canadian Coking Coal. 1980. CIMM Bull.Vol 73. 70-84.
  3. Rank variation, coalification pattern and coal quality in the Crowsnest coalfield, British Columbia. 1985. CIMM Bull. Vol 78. 39-46.
  4. Reactivity of Inertinite (coal-typing) of western Canadian Coals. 1985 International Conference on Coal Science, Sydney, Australia. Proc.907-908.
  5. Influence of Geology on CSR (Coke Strength after Reaction with CO2). 1989. In Advances in western Canadian Coal Geoscience. Alberta Research Council Info. Series 103. 174-183.
  6. Probability analysis of Blended Coking Coals. 1991. Int. J. Coal Geology Vol 19. 109-119.
  7. Probability Statistics in the Monitoring of Coal Blends. 1991 (Washington) Ironmaking Conference Proceedings, 50-51.
  8. High speed automated petrographic analysis of coke battery charges. 1992 (Toronto) Ironmaking Conference Proceedings, 50-51.
  9. Numerical Modeling of Reflectance of Coking Coals. 1994 (Chicago) Ironmaking Conference Proceedings, 50-51.
  10. Fusible Inertinites in Coking Coals. 1998 (Toronto) ICSTI/Ironmaking Conference Proceedings, 753-75
  11. Bireflectance Mapping and Automated Petrographic Analysis of Metallurgical Coke, 2012 (Atlanta) Association of Iron & Steel Technology Conference Proceedings, 247-251.
  12. Application of Automated Petrography to Characterize Quality Distribution in Slot-Oven and Non-Recovery Coke Ovens, 2012 (Rio De Janeiro) ICSTI/Ironmaking Conference Proceedings.
  13. The Petrography of Metallurgical Coke, 2013 (Pittsburgh) Association of Iron & Steel Technology Conference Proceedings, 293-306.
  14. Quantitative Reflectance Measurements of Metallurgical Coke, 2013 (Brisbane) 10th Australian Coal Science Conference Proceedings.
  15. Bireflectance Studies of Plastometer Semi-Coke Residues, 2014 (Indianapolis) Association of Iron & Steel Technology Conference Proceedings
  16. Quality and Classification of Metallurgical Coke, 2015 (Cleveland) Association of Iron & Steel Technology Conference Proceedings.
  17. Porosity of Metallurgical Coke, 2016 (Pittsburgh) Association of Iron & Steel Technology Conference Proceedings, 370-007.
  18. Forecasting Coke Quality From mW Power Measurements Recorded During Plastic Layer Advance by a Sapozhnikov Plastometer, 2016 (Pittsburgh) Association of Iron & Steel Technology Conference Proceedings, 370-006.
  19.  Encapsulites, and the suppression of internal gas pressure in industrial metallurgical coke blends, 2017 Fuel Volume 200, Pages 545-554.
  20. New Trends in Coal Conversion: Combustion, Gasification, Emissions, and Coking, 2019 Chapter 9, Pg 247-262

Collaborative work and University Studies

  1. Determining fusibility of inertinite by comparison of matched coal and coke surfaces using imaging analysis methods, 2015 (Dusseldorf) METEC and 2nd ESTAD Conference Proceedings. (Karryn Warren, CSIRO)
  2. Petrographic analysis and characterization of a blast furnace coke and its wear mechanisms, 2017 Fuel Volume 200, Pages 89-99. University of Newcastle
  3. Concentrating Coke Oven Sized Inertinite-rich Particles to Study Their Behaviour in Targeted Coking Blends, September 2018, ACARP C25052, Wei Xie, Rohan Stanger, Merrick Mahoney, Terry Wall and John Lucas. University of Newcastle
  4. Tribological Testing of Metallurgical Coke: Coefficient of Friction and Relation to Coal Properties, October 2018, Energy and Fuels Vol 32. Hannah Lomas, Richard Roest, et. al., University of Newcastle
  5. Comparison of a laboratory-scale coke and a pilot-scale coke from matched coal, Aug 2020, Ironmaking & Steelmaking, Processes, Products and Applications, Vol. 48. 2021 Issue 5. ( Richard Roest, Adam Wells, Tizshauna Thorley, Hui Wu, Zhengyi Jiang, Richard Sakurovs, Robert Fetscher, Xing Xing, and Merrick Mahoney. Univeristy of Newcastle [ACARP C25043].
  6. Understanding of How Inertinite Concentrate in Blends Affecting Coke Strength, March 2021, ACARP C28069, Wei Xie, Rohan Stanger, Terry Wall, John Lucas, Quang Anh Tran, Merrick Mahoney, Robert Fetscher, University of Newcastle.
  7. Understanding of the mechanisms of chemical interaction between vitrinite and inertinite, July 2022, ACARP C29076, Wei Xie, Rohan Stanger, Terry Wall, John Lucas. University of Newcastle.
  8. Microalgae blending for sustainable metallurgical coke production – Impacts on coking behaviour and coke quality, July 2023, Fuel Vol. 344, Apsara Jayasekara, Brody Brooks, Karen Steel, Pramod Koshy, Kim Hockings, Arash Tahmasebi. University of Newcastle
  9. Interlaboratory study: Testing reproducibility of solid biofuels component identification using reflected light microscopy, International Journal of Coal Geology, pre-proof, online, August 2023; Agnieszka Drobniak, Maria Mastalerz, Zbigniew Jelonek, et. al., University of Silesia, Sosnowiec, Poland.
  10. Influence of elevated temperature and gas atmosphere on coke abrasion resistance. Part one: Pilot oven cokes, January 2024, Fuel Vol. 356, Hannah Lomas, Richard Roest, Richard Sakurovs, Hui Wu, Zhengyi Jiang, Salman Khoshk Rish, Brody Brooks, Tori Hill, Aaron Anderson, Anthony Edwards, Merrick R. Mahoney, Arash Tahmasebi. University of Newcastle.

Posters and Marketing Material

  1. Coal Quality from Automated Fluorescence Imaging Microscopy (2009)
  2. Fingerprinting Coking coals & Blends (1999)
  3. Fingerprinting Steam coals & Blends  (1999)
  4. Influence of Fluorescing Vitrinite on the Fluidity of some Bowen Basin coals. (2009)
  5. Contact metamorphic aureoles in some Bowen Basin coals  (2007)