Pearson Coal Petrography

Fingerprinting your coals, cokes, and carbons

Sapozhnikov and Gieseler Plastometry

Sapozhnikov Plastometer – (Automatic Plastometric Indices Determinator)

Our Chicago laboratory is equipped with two CKIC Automatic Plastometric Indices Determinators or Sapozhnikov Plastometers.  These are very good instruments in determining coals expansion or contraction properties – critical of oven-life longevity.  The X and Y indices that the Sapozhnikov Plastometer produces are used to predict oven wall pressures as well as a good indicator for coke quality.

Gieseler Plastometer  – ( Fluidity )

A FRICO plastometer in Victoria was used for three decades in the analysis of single coals and sequential blends, complementing petrography in monitoring product and blend consistency, and verifying process variables. It was retired in 2011 after a long tenure.

Frico Plastometer vs Preiser Plastometer

Frico Plastometer vs Preiser Plastometer

The next-generation Preiser plastometer in our Chicago laboratory can measure to 180,000+ ddpm’s, which is vital for the accurate characterization of Ultra-Fluid Appalachian high-volatile coals, whose unique characteristics are caused by bitumen-soaked vitrinite , which are highly-fluorescent .

Orange coloured Fluorescing Vitrinite, containing yellow Liptinites

Orange-coloured fluorescing Vitrinite, containing yellow Liptinites. Blue light excitation (BG12), emission filter K510.

Ultra-Fluid Appalachian high-volatile coals showing Orange coloured Fluorescing Vitrinite.

Ultra-Fluid Appalachian high-volatile coal showing orange-coloured fluorescing Vitrinite. Blue excitation (BG12) emission filter K510.

Some three decades ago, it was demonstrated by Creaney, Pearson & Marconi (1980), that it is not the volume of liptinites, but the volume of fluorescing vitrinite that correlates with maximum fluidity measured in Wolgan coal, from near Lithgow, New South Wales. Now, variations in maximum Gieseler fluidity of many West Virginia based coals is directly correlated with fluorescence intensity.

Gieseler plastometry is another tool in the prediction of single coal and coal blend consistency and complements petrographic analysis in the determination of coal quality and product consistency.


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David Pearson

Dave Pearson


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