Occurrence, distribution and origin of sulfur in Chinese coals

Yuegang Tang, Deyi Ren, Chen-Lin Chou, Weiwei Li, Cong Chen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Sulfur in coal is a harmful element, and sulfur dioxid e generated from coal combustion is a harmful gas, which caused acid rain and environmental pollution. In order to desulfurize and reduce the pollution of sulfur in coal, many geologists have focused their research on the sulfuric types, abundance, genesis , distribution, occurrence and structures. And the physical and chemical properties of sulfur in coal are mainly related to coal -forming materials and coal -forming environment. Chinese coal is mainly low -sulfur coal, high -sulfur coal is rare. Geological an d geochemical studies of sulfur in Chinese coals including several major aspects relating to the occurrence and origin of sulfur in coals, i.e. the sulfur abundance and distribution in coal seam varied in geological periods, regions and provinces; abundanc e of sulfur in coal and macerals, characteristics and geochemical significance of sulfur -containing organic compounds, sulfur isotopic studies relating to the sources of sulfur in coals, and sedimentary environments controlling the geochemistry of sulfur i n coal. First of all, there is the highest sulfur content in Late Permian coal. Late Carboniferous coal and early Carboniferous coal are secondary. There is the lowest sulfur content in early -middle Jurassic coal. Coal pyrites in microscopy are divided i nto two types of biological genetic series and non -biological series. Many scholars proposed several types of pyrite forming shape. The pyrite has two evolutive modes for genesis and four stages of formation. Organic sulfur mainly exists as thiol, thioethe r and thiophene. There is the highest sulfur content in liptinite, secondly vitrinite, the lowest inertinite. With fusinitization or gelifcation, the sulfur content of maceral decrease or increase, and influenced by accumulative environment. Liptinite cont ain sulfone, thioether etc. sulfur -contained compound. Thiophene is secondary. Whereas sulfone and thioether are two parts in vitrinite. About a half of organic in inertinite are thiophene analogue and the other half of thioether or thiol. With coal rank, thiophene increase. Sulfur isotopic value of low sulfur coal is +5 ~ +10‰, whereas one of high sulfur coal with influencing by marine is -10 ~ - 20‰. The superhigh -organic -sulfur (SHOS) coals are highly enriched in organic sulfur but depleted in pyritic sulfur, which were deposited in sulfur -rich, iron -poor environments. An enrichment model of repeating sulfur Reduction - Reoxidation - Disproportionation (SRRD) has been promoted. Both the organic and sulfide sulfur are not only derived mainly from the marine inf luence but also from the hydrothermal fluids
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventThe Society for Organic Petrology 2018 Annual Meeting - Beijing, China
Duration: Aug 17 2018Aug 22 2018
Conference number: 35


ConferenceThe Society for Organic Petrology 2018 Annual Meeting
Abbreviated title2018 TSOP


  • ISGS

Cite this