Geologic Distribution: Vanadium in coal is mainly in inorganic associations, but some is likely organically bound 1. Most vanadium in coal appears to be within clay minerals 2,3. Mean whole coal vanadium in West Virginia coals was 24.36 ppm. Vanadium correlated somewhat with ash yield, but highly with the ash related elements chromium (Cr), scandium (Sc), gallium (Ga), lithium (Li), lead (Pb), thorium (Th), niobium (Nb), zirconium (Zr), cesium (Cs) and yttrium (Y). Vanadium (V) also correlated with numerous rare earth elements including neodymium (Nd), europium (Eu), erbium (Er), holmium (Ho), samarium (Sm), cerium (Ce), ytterbium (Yb), gadolinium (Gd) and lutetium (Lu). A slight stratigraphic trend showed lowest V values in coals of the lower half of the Pennsylvanian, and higher V in the upper half of the Pennsylvanian, except for very low V in the Pittsburgh and Redstone coals of the Monongahela Group. Vanadium displayed no areal distribution trends in abundance.
Economic Impact: Vanadium may corrosive in power plants 1. Vanadium is used in nuclear applications and low V in coal is important in the fabrication of nuclear-grade graphite from coal. Most vanadium is used in steel making 4.
Environmental Impact: Vanadium is toxic, but is present in coals in such low abundances that it is of little environmental concern 1.
1. Swaine, D.J., (1990)
2. Finkelman, R.B., (1981)
3. Palmer, C.A. and Filby, R.H., (1984)
4. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
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