WVGES Trace Elements in West Virginia Coals

Click Here To Go To Trace Elements Framed Home Page SAMARIUM (Sm)

Samarium Stratigraphic DistributionSamarium Geographic DistributionSamarium Summary Statistics

Samarium is one of the rare earth elements (REE) and has no detrimental environmental impact.

Geologic Distribution: Samarium as one of the REE is probably predominantly associated with mineral matter in coal 1. Samarium occurs in minor amounts in the trace minerals monazite and bastnasite 2.  No specific Sm minerals in coal have been reported. Mean samarium on a whole coal basis was 1.52 ppm.  Samarium statistically correlated slightly with ash yield, and correlated very well with some other rare earth element components of monazite, especially lanthanum (La), europium (Eu), cerium (Ce), lutetium (Lu), ytterbium (Yb) and terbium (Tb).  Samarium also correlated well with the ash related elements thorium (Th), scandium (Sc), chromium (Cr), vanadium (V), lithium (Li), hafnium (Hf) and  lead (Pb). Samarium displayed no trends in stratigraphic or areal distribution, but highest Sm samples were all located in the southern part of the state.

Economic Impact: Samarium  in coal is of  no economic importance.  Samarium is a component in misch metal, a pyrophoric alloy used in lighter flints, is used in carbon-arc lighting for motion pictures 2. Sm also has infrared absorption properties and is used to color welder's goggles and other glass, is used as a neutron absorber in nuclear reactors, and is used as a catalyst in the manufacture of ethyl alcohol 2.

Environmental Impact: Rare earth elements, samarium included, have no published environmental impact in coal mining or utilization 1.  However the toxicity of Sm is generally unknown 2.

    1. Swaine, D.J., (1990)
    2. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
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