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Absorption of Ultra-violet and Visible Light by Ultra-thin Sections of Vitrinite from a High-volatile Bituminous Coal

Naturevolume 187pages10141015 (1960) | Download Citation



IT is a commonly held view that coals contain aromatic structures and that they become more graphite-like with increase in rank. X-ray studies have tended to confirm this concept ; however, recent work1 has shown that small (about 100 atoms or less) aromatic and tetrahedral structures that have comparable numbers of atoms give rise to overlapping X-ray diffraction patterns in the angular regions of the (10), (11) and (20) reflexions of graphite-like layers. The question of distinguishing between the two types of structures will have to be resolved eventually by rigorous and more detailed X-ray or electron diffraction studies. Knowledge of other physical and chemical properties would be of great help in such structural analyses. It has been reported2 that the extinction coefficients of a high-volatile A bituminous vitrinite in ultra-violet and visible light are too low to admit of an appreciable content of condensed aromatic structures. A detailed study of absorption became possible when we succeeded in cutting ultra-thin sections of coals of various ranks and in accurately measuring their thickness and refractive index by interferometry3.

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  1. 1

    Ergun, S., and Tiensuu, V. H., Acta Cryst., 12, 1050 (1959).

  2. 2

    Friedel, R. A., and Queiser, J. A., Fuel, 38, 369 (1959).

  3. 3

    McCartney, J. T., and Ergun, S., “Refractive Index and Thickness of Ultra-thin Sections of Coals and Graphite by Interferometry” (manuscript in preparation).

  4. 4

    McCartney, J. T., and Ergun, S., Fuel, 37, 272 (1958).

  5. 5

    de Ruiter, E., and Tschamler, H., Brennstoff Chem., 39, 362 (1958).

  6. 6

    Humphreys-Owen, S. P. F., and Gilbert, L. A., “Industrial Carbon and Graphite” (Society of Chemical Industry, London, p. 40, 1958).

  7. 7

    Ergun, S., Fuel, 37, 365 (1958).

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  1. Special Coal Research Section, Pittsburgh Coal Research Center, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    • , J. T. McCARTNEY
    •  & R. E. WALLINE


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