WVGES Trace Elements in West Virginia Coals

Click Here To Go To Trace Elements Framed Home Page FLUORINE (F)

Fluorine Stratigraphic DistributionFluorine Geographic DistributionFluorine Summary Statistics

Fluorine is not one of the Clean Coal Act , Title III Hazardous Air Pollutant elements, but is of
environmental concern because the formation of hydrofluoric acid (HF) during coal combustion.

Geologic Distribution:  The mode of occurrence of fluorine in coal is questionable.  Minerals appear to be the site of much of the F in coal.  Fluorapatite and fluorite may be present in some coals 1.  Clay minerals kaolinite, illite and montmorillonite may contain varying amounts of fluorine 1.  Amphiboles, micas, and tourmaline in coal may also contribute to F in coal 2.  Mean whole coal fluorine in West Virginia coals is 62.68 ppm, and statistically F does not correlate with ash yield, total sulfur, pyritic sulfur or any other trace elements. Fluorine displays no stratigraphic or geographic trends in whole coal abundance in West Virginia coals.

Economic Impact:  Fluorine in coal is of unknown economic impact.  Fluorine is used in a great many fluorochemicals including high temperature plastics, the manufacture of hydrofluoric acid, fluorochloro-hydrocarbons used in refrigeration, and is added to drinking water 3.

Environmental Impact: The environmental impact caused by fluorine in coal combustion need further study 1. Combustion of coals with very high F content (up to 1000 ppm) can cause fluorosis 1. Volcanoes are also a significant source of atmospheric fluorine 1.

    1. Swaine, D.J., (1990)
    2. Finkelman, R.B., (1981)
    3. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
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