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The resinite resources of selected coal seams of the Book Cliff and Wasatch Plateau coalfields of central Utah (RI-225)

Coal Resources

By: D. E. Tabet, B. P. Hucka, and S. N. Sommer

Coal seams in the Wasatch Plateau and western Book Cliffs coal fields of Utah have high resinite contents. Resinite, or coal resin, is most abundant in the seams above the Spring Canyon and Aberdeen Sandstone Members in the lower part of the Upper Cretaceous Blackhawk Formation. These coal seams average 2.5 to 3.0 percent resinite and locally contain more than 10 percent resinite. Recoverable resin resources in Utah's coal seams are estimated at 19.4 million short tons (38.8 billion pounds). This brittle, low-density coal constituent concentrates in the fine fraction of mined coal and can be recovered by flotation methods.

Recovery of high-value coal resin (resinite) as a by-product of coal can substantially increase the revenue to a coal operator. The removal of the resin does not significantly affect the quality of the coal because the resin makes up only a small fraction of the coal, and processing the coal for resin also removes ash- and sulfur-bearing constituents. Past flotation techniques removed only 50 percent of the coal resin; new flotation techniques can recover up to 90 percent.

Coal resin, a low-cost resin, has been widely used in the black-ink market and has applications in the colored-ink, adhesive, rubber, vamish, coatings, and plastics industries. Coal resin competes well with other natural and synthetic resins on a cost basis, but has no current share of the resin market due to the lack of a reliable supply and a shortage of resin refiners.

Other Information:
Published: 1995
Pages: 19 p.
Location: Carbon, Emery, Sanpete, and Sevier Counties
Media Type: Paper Publication

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