Geologic Occurrence: Barium occurs primarily in the mineral barite (BaSO4) in coal. Barite was found in 9 of 24 West Virginia coals examined by scanning electron microscope in an unpublished study by the WVGES. The minerals barytocelestine, witherite and gorceixite have also been reported in coals 1. Isolated high barium values in coal may be related to overlying marine beds. Barium shows no preferential geographic distribution in coals state-wide. Statistically, barium averaged 110 ppm on a whole coal basis, and did not correlate with ash yield, total sulfur, pyritic sulfur or other trace elements.
Economic Impact: There are no reports of economic impact of barium in coal. Barium is used in paint pigment, medical x-ray diagnostics, glass making and a weighting fluid in well drilling 2.
Environmental Impact: No environmental impact of barium in coal has been reported 1. However, all water soluble barium compounds are poisonous 2.
1. Swaine, D.J., (1990)
2. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
|To request specific information from a Survey geologist click here.|
Page last revised: March 1, 2002
Please send questions, comments, and/or suggestions to webmaster.
Page created and maintained by: West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey Address: Mont Chateau Research Center Cheat Lake exit off I-68 P.O. Box 879 Morgantown, WV 26507-0879 Telephone: 1-800-WV-GEOLOgy (1-800-984-3656) or 304-594-2331 FAX: 304-594-2575 Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday - FridayPermission to reproduce this material is granted if acknowledgment is given to the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey.