WVGES Trace Elements in West Virginia Coals

Click Here To Go To Trace Elements Framed Home Page THULIUM (Tm)

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Thulium is one of the very low abundance rare earth elements and has no detrimental environmental impact.

Geologic Distribution: Of 546 samples analyzed, only 11 had detectable levels of thulium with a mean whole coal Tm of 0.28 ppm (±0.14 ppm).  These samples were confined to mainly Kanawha Formation coals with 4 from the No. 2 Gas coal, 3 from the Powellton, and others were from the Sewell, Winifrede and Coalburg coals. Thulium is present in trace quantities (0.007%) in the mineral monazite 1. Monazite was found in trace amounts in 22 of 24 coal samples examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in an unpublished study by the WVGES and probably is present in most coals.

Economic Impact: Thulium in coal is of no economic importance, and because of its high price Tm has few applications 1.

Environmental Impact: Thulium has low toxicity and emissions during coal combustion and mining are not considered an environmental hazard 1.

    1. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
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