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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 234204, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/234204
Research Article

Chemometric Study of Trace Elements in Hard Coals of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin, Poland

1Department of Energy Saving and Air Protection, Central Mining Institute, Plac Gwarków 1, 40-166 Katowice, Poland
2Department of Solid Fuels Quality Assessment, Central Mining Institute, Plac Gwarków 1, 40-166 Katowice, Poland
3Central Mining Institute, Experimental Mine “Barbara”, Podleska Street 72, 43-190 Mikołów, Poland
4Department of Geology and Geophysics, Central Mining Institute, Plac Gwarków 1, 40-166 Katowice, Poland

Received 22 January 2014; Revised 9 April 2014; Accepted 23 April 2014; Published 22 May 2014

Academic Editor: Dušanka Milojković-Opsenica

Copyright © 2014 Adam Smoliński et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The objective of the study was the analysis of trace elements contents in coals of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB), which may pose a potential threat to the environment when emitted from coal processing systems. Productive carbon overburden in central and southern zones of the USCB is composed mostly of insulating tertiary formations of a thickness from a few m to 1,100 m, and is represented by Miocene and Pliocene formations. In the data study the geological conditions of the coal seams of particular zones of the USCB were taken into account and the hierarchical clustering analysis was applied, which enabled the exploration of the dissimilarities between coal samples of various zones of the USCB in terms of basic physical and chemical parameters and trace elements contents. Coals of the northern and eastern zones of the USCB are characterized by high average Hg and low average Ba, Cr, and Ni contents, whereas coals of southern and western zones are unique due to high average concentrations of Ba, Co, Cu, Ni, and V. Coals of the central part of the USCB are characterized by the highest average concentration of Mn and the lowest average concentrations of As, Cd, Pb, V, and Zn.