Variation of Hg content in low sulfur coals in relation to the coal-forming environment: a case study from Zhuji Coal Mine, Huainan Coalfield, North China

  • Xudong Wang
  • Dun WuEmail author
  • Guijian LiuEmail author
  • Ruoyu Sun
Original Article


Twenty-nine low sulfur coal samples were selected to determine the magnitude and variability of mercury (Hg) content in a well-documented stratigraphy system including ten continuous coal seams in Zhuji Coal Mine, Huainan Coalfield, Anhui Province, North China. Mercury content of samples was measured on a direct mercury analyzer and confident results were obtained as evaluated by standard references, sample replicates and procedural blanks. The calculated overall mine average Hg content is 71.19 ± 9.28 ng/g based on seam averages and weighting by the estimated reserve of each coal seam. The estimated Hg emission potential for Huainan coalfield is obviously lower than that calculated from coal emission factor in industrial use. An increasing trend of Hg content with the evolution of depositional environment was observed from Nos. 3 to 11-2 coal seams. Combining the evidence of sedimentology and paleontology, a better understanding was gained of the mechanism of Hg sequestration in specific coal benches. A large portion of Hg residing in the low sulfur coals presumably integrated to the functional groups of organic constitution, whereas pyrite was generally abundant in the high sulfur coals.


Mercury Coal Low sulfur Coal-forming environment Huainan coalfield 



We acknowledge supports from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41502152), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Nos. 2016T90576 and 2015M571940), the National Key Basic Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0201600), the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, 2014CB238903), the Open Projects of Research Center of Coal Resources Safe Mining and Clean Utilization, Liaoning (LNTU17KF10) and Science and Technology Project of Department of Land and Resources of Anhui Province (2016-K-2).


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth and Space Sciences, CAS Key Laboratory of Crust-Mantle Materials and EnvironmentUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina
  2. 2.Anhui Public Welfare Geological Survey Management CenterThe Chinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth EnvironmentThe Chinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina
  4. 4.Exploration Research InstituteAnhui Provincial Bureau of Coal GeologyHefeiChina
  5. 5.Institute of Surface-Earth System ScienceTianjin UniversityTianjinChina

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